Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 05/26/2010 09:17:53 PM PDT

CLAREMONT – The Claremont Unified school board on Tuesday night approved issuing 41 layoff notices to ensure the district’s financial security.

More than 30 teachers as well as counselors, nonunion managers and a psychologist will receive the notices.

“This makes me sad,” school board member Mary Caenepeel said. “We have to move forward with this.”

Some employees, such as Sumner Elementary School teacher Sheri Castro, had their job reduced from full-time to part-time.

“Please don’t insult me and say it’s not personal,” said Castro, who felt her experience, which included earning a master’s degree, would keep her employed as a full-timer.

The school board has to close a $6.7 million gap in its 2010-11 budget by the end of the 2011-12 school year. It has already reduced or eliminated adult-education classes and summer-school classes.

The California Faculty Association and the school board have been negotiating on a way to avoid layoffs for several months and continue to do so.

Union President Suzanne Miller said the district should consider spending down its reserves.

“They don’t need to have this extra money for 2010-11,” Miller said. “Sure, later on it gets dicey. But for 2010-11 to take furloughs and have extra money in the bank is ridiculous.”

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