Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 05/30/2010 09:43:43 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Etiwanda School District board members last week approved laying off 16 certificated employees.

The recommendation to terminate the employees – primarily permanent and probationary teachers – was based on hearings conducted by an administrative law judge earlier this month.

The hearings determined whether the district properly followed Education Code procedure and accurately notified employees. The hearings are standard and procedural.

“This is never a fun process because good people are losing their jobs,” said Terry Embleton, Etiwanda’s assistant superintendent of personnel.

“This is very emotional for teachers and for staff. We have excellent teachers who are losing their positions and it’s not their fault. They didn’t do anything to create this.”

Etiwanda had to cut its budget by $14.5 million in the next three years.

At Thursday’s board meeting, officials said the cuts will let the district remain fiscally solvent for three years.

Board members also approved the reduction of 5.5 work days in the 2010-11 school year for certificated employees, resulting in almost a 2 percent salary reduction. The change will save $1.2 million, said Jerry Schumacher, Etiwanda’s director of fiscal services.

The district also cut nine classified employee workdays, saving $400,000; laid off a classified occupational therapist; and reduced paid workdays for assistant principals from 201 to 190.

In April, the board voted to suspend all busing services beginning in the 2010-11 school year, except for special education and Individualized Education Program students.

About 2,800 students on 27 routes are affected, and the district is expected to save $1million.

The district will also eliminate summer school, except for special education students, for an ongoing savings of $200,000.

The district also offered early retirement programs that saved it $2.2 million.

Other savings have been generated by class size increases and discontinued funding for a sixth-grade camping trip.

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