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17 teaching positions saved

Concessions include six furlough days
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The school board approved concessions saving the equivalent of 17 teaching positions Tuesday night. The board ratified a memorandum of understanding between the Western Placer Unified School District and Western Placer Teachers Association that will provide a savings of $1.16 million, or 17 teaching positions, according to Ryan Davis, the school district’s director of human services. “Unfortunately, we are still facing significant reductions and eliminations of positions due to the enormity of the budget situation,” Davis said. “It should be noted that the concessions in the MOU amounts to 17 teaching positions that would have had to have been cut.” During the Feb. 28 school board meeting, the board approved the layoff of 30.95 of its 325 certificated employees, according to previous News Messenger reports. This was part of an effort to make $5.75 million in budget cuts for the 2012-2013 school year. Those concessions include six furlough days, no class size overages compensations, and a sweep of lottery funds into the General Fund, said Davis. Prior to the board’s vote, Western Placer Teacher Association president Mike Agrippino addressed them. “While we are saddened this has to be done, we are satisfied it will help some of the district’s budget situation,” Agrippino said. “We’ve agreed to six furlough days and to suspend class size overages. These are significant concessions.” Agrippino said the suspension of lottery funds for teachers “will make it problematic to provide classroom supplies.” “But teachers find a way to get it done,” Agrippino said. “I believe all parties should be proud of one another. It is strong and fair and helps us do a good job for our students.” The board approved the concessions unanimously, and prior to the vote, praised the work of both the district and Western Placer Teachers Association. “I brag about our district to everyone over the way we communicate and deal with issues,” said board member Paul Carras. “Pending ratification, I hold my hat out to the Classified Employee Association and Western Placer Teachers Association for everything that has transpired.” Board member Brian Haley called the memorandum of understanding “a great agreement.” Board member Kris Wyatt thanked Agrippino for the association’s work. “It’s been tough with sleepless nights and thinking about this while pulling weeds,” Wyatt said. “It will be an emotional time for us, especially with the teachers who have to be released.” Board president Damian Armitage said he “supports” the memorandum of understanding. “Everyone understands the sacrifice your group is making and how classrooms will be affected,” Armitage said.