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Schools to reduce layoffs

Several educators will keep their jobs, thanks to retirement program

Posted: April 22, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Eighty teachers from two SCV school districts got reprieves Wednesday.

The William S. Hart Union High School District is taking back 62 teacher-layoff notices while Saugus Union School District rescinded 18 teacher-layoff notices, school officials said Wednesday.

Both districts are offering an early-retirement incentive program for senior teachers, which they predict will offset the number of layoffs.

"Every time we get a senior teacher going to go out on the retirement program, we can hire back one of the teachers that was going to be laid off," said Bob Cutting, assistant superintendent of business for Saugus Union.

"It doesn't cost the district anything to call back and rescind layoff notices."

The situation is similar at the Hart District.

"The Hart Ddistrict recognizes that this has been a difficult process for everyone involved, and I want to reiterate that the decision to implement the layoff was one the district took seriously," Hart District Assistant Superintendent Rochelle Neal said. "We are continuing to review the layoff process and will keep everyone updated if it is possible to rescind additional layoff notices."

Saugus Union still has 17 layoff notices out to teachers, while the Hart District has 36 employees on its layoff list.

Hart district board members initially sent layoff notices to approximately 100 certificated employees while Saugus Union board members approved laying off 35 full-time teachers.

Both districts were required by law to send potential layoff notices to certificated employees in March to meet the March 15 deadline.

Saugus Union district officials are hopeful that it could slowly take back more pink slips in the coming weeks, Saugus Union superintendent Judy Fish said.

The deadline for the retirement program closes Friday, Fish said.

At the same time, Saugus Union district officials are assessing enrollment numbers for the 2009-10 school year and taking into account unplanned attrition, Cutting said.

That happens when teachers end up leaving the school district because of personal reasons such as a spouse taking an out-of-state job, Cutting said.

School districts have until May 15 to issue final layoff notices to certificated staff.


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