Central Unified School District proposes laying off 10 teachers

The layoffs will be presented to the school board at their meeting on Tuesday.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central Unified teachers could be facing layoffs before the next school year. The district is proposing cutting ten teacher positions, and their association is pushing back.

Central Unified Superintendent Andrew Alvarado said it all starts with scheduling.

"The board approved, not too long ago, reducing the graduation requirements," said Alvarado. "In analysis of what we need next year, the schedule is requiring a reduction in force."

With the district reducing students' graduation requirements, that means fewer classes are necessary and fewer teachers.

"Really, it's being fiscally responsible with the budget at the end of the day, to make sure we're not overstaffed," said Alvarado.

Central Unified is proposing to cut ten positions.

"It's not that we're reducing programs or offerings. It's just a matter that we're not going to need as many teachers to accomplish that next year," added Alvarado.

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Fresno State is starting the new semester with fewer staff members.

However, the California Teachers Association (CTA) is pushing back.

"They're not hurting for money," said CTA bargaining chair, Ben Avila. "They had a 12% reserve last year, they have a 19% now, so they're able to stock away more money, so I don't see the need to let these teachers go now."

The association disagrees with the new graduation requirements and the resulting staffing reduction.

"Our upper admin have gotten raises," said Avila. "I think we can keep a few positions. This is their bread and butter. This isn't a 10% raise here."

The association maintains that if the cuts need to happen, there is room to do them over a period of time.

"They could handle that over a year or two and let teachers retire, and positions get filled," said Avila.

At this point, Central Unified said the layoffs aren't set in stone, and student registration could also change, further impacting the outcome.

"After we get through the registration process, there may be a need to bring some of these positions back," added Alvarado.

The layoffs will be presented to the school board at their meeting on Tuesday. If the board approves the cuts, the district will then send out notices to the teachers.
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