April 11, 2011 5:09 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

PHELAN • The Snowline Joint Unified School District Board Tuesday nightt is set to approve the layoff of 38 employees and “golden handshake” retirement incentives as part of an effort to close a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall.

The preliminary layoff notices would effectively eliminate the district’s child development programs, including preschools at multiple school sites, according to district spokeswoman Kathy Sharkey. The personnel reductions come as the state threatens to yank local school districts’ funding for child development.

A state budget resolution has yet to be approved, but Snowline officials are bracing for cuts that would lead to a $5.6 million deficit in 2011-12 — nearly 10 percent of the district’s budget — and a $7.7 million deficit in 2012-13.

Meanwhile, declining district enrollment has also become a funding problem. Snowline’s enrollment has dropped by 3 percent, or 250 students, from last year.

Along with 35 positions in child development, a resolution that will go before the board calls for laying off three classified management positions that were eyed for elimination last year.

If the board approves all the proposed layoffs, the following types of employees will get preliminary pink slips:

• 11 preschool instructors;

• 23 instructional associates in child development;

• An office assistant;

• A warehouse supervisor;

• A maintenance and operations supervisor; and

• A director of facilities.

Also up for approval at Tuesday’s board meeting are golden handshake incentives, which offer eligible employees with at least 15 years of district service two additional years of service credit toward their retirement plans.

For more about the layoffs, read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at nlindstrom@VVDailyPress.com.