Two Valley School Districts Face Layoffs

May 14, 2009 9:09:05 PM PDT
Two local school districts now know the number of employees they need to cut in order to balance their budgets. In March, educators across the Valley received layoff notices as a precaution. Soon, they'll find out who's not returning to class next year.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

This week many educators here in the Central Unified School District and Madera Unified are excited to know they will keep their jobs but others still have an uncertain future.

Administrators at Madera Unified say they were worried schools would lose classified employees like secretaries and administrative staff next school year. But on Tuesday the district cast a vote to save each classified job.

"We announced it at a board meeting. It was met with a loud ovation," said Jake Bragonier.

Support Staff agreed to take a 10 day furlough, or unpaid vacation. Teachers however turned down a two point five pay cut. Which means nearly 65 teaching positions will be lost.

"Approximately the 65 we lose right now we really expect that number to come down drastically," said Bragonier.

That number is lower than the 100 pink slips the district sent out earlier this year. Central Unified is also letting fewer teachers go.

Chris Williams said, "We started out with 82 due to the budget crisis we're down to 27. They will officially be noticed tomorrow."

Central Unified Associate Superintendent Chris Williams says they also agreed to cut 48 people from Support Staff.

This could all change after the special election next Tuesday. Williams says he could look to make an additional six to eight million dollars in cuts if the proposals do not pass.

"We've prepared our budget for both assuming it will pass and it doesn't pass," said Williams.

By offering retirement packages Central Unified hopes to reduce the number of people they have to let go. Madera says they hope to save an additional 40 teaching positions.

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