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UPDATE: Saugus, Newhall districts approve preliminary layoff notices

Posted: March 6, 2013 2:28 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2013 6:04 p.m.

Thirty employees in the Newhall School District and the Saugus Union School District have been put on notice that they may be laid off before the beginning of next school year.

The Newhall School District board voted 5-0 Tuesday night to send out preliminary layoff notices to 26 temporary classroom and physical education teachers, district Superintendent Marc Winger said Wednesday.

Winger attributed the number of notices, in part, to declining student enrollment in the district.

Since state funding is largely determined on a per-pupil basis, smaller enrollment often means less money for districts.

In a separate vote, the Newhall board voted 3-1, with one board member abstaining, to send a similar preliminary layoff notice to a music teacher, Winger said.

“In the context of what we call budget discipline, no program should be exempt from being studied for efficiency,” Winger said. “Not in these days. Not in these environments.”

But Winger said he was certain that not every teacher who received a preliminary notice would end up being laid off.

“I’m sure of it,” Winger said. “But how many won’t be brought back, that’s the question.”

School districts are required by law to notify certificated employees — such as counselors, assistant principals and teachers — if there is a possibility they will be laid off for the next school year.

Those employees have to be notified by March 15.

But school districts have until May 15 to determine how many of those employees will actually be laid off.
Members of the Saugus Union School District board also voted Tuesday night to send out preliminary layoff notices.

With a 4-0 vote, the board approved sending notices to three of the district’s special education personnel, according to Saugus district Superintendent Joan Lucid.

Board member Rose Koscielny missed Tuesday’s meeting because she was sick, Lucid said.

Lucid said Wednesday the notices are motivated entirely by falling enrollment in the district’s special education classes, which reflects similar enrollment decreases across the district.

“As you’re losing your population, just by default you’re going to lose some special education youngsters,” Lucid said.

Lucid estimated Saugus district enrollment has fallen from 10,700 students in 2007 to around 10,200 this year.

The Saugus district will continue monitoring its enrollment figures until the May 15 deadline to make sure the proper staffing decisions are being made, Lucid said.

“We’re going to make a decision based on what our numbers tell us,” Lucid said.

The Sulphur Springs School District in Canyon Country sent out preliminary layoff notices to 16 teachers last week.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney





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