25 teachers to be cut or have hours reduced

School district says that will save $1.25 million
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Twenty-five district teachers will be either be laid off or have their hours reduced next school year as part of an effort to cut $5.75 million from the 2012-13 fiscal budget. The layoff of teachers and other certificated staff will save the district $1.25 million. That decision to approve the resolution for the layoffs was made by the Western Placer Unified School District?s Board of Trustees during Tuesday night?s 25-minute school board meeting. Aside from the reduction of teaching positions, other cuts will need to be made as well, according to previous News Messenger reports. District employees have also made concessions to salaries and benefits, and a number of classified employees will also be laid off, according to previous News Messenger reports. The district has been working over the past few months to determine what cuts would be made. The board voted on Feb. 21 to approve proposed budget reductions that would add up to the $5.75 million in reductions. Superintendent Scott Leaman said during the board?s Feb. 7 meeting that the cuts are being made ?to ensure the financial stability of the district? but that ?at this point, reserves have dried up.? Cuts to programs and personnel have been avoided until this year, according to previous News Messenger reports. ?I?m very saddened to be up here again with another layoff negotiation,? said Ryan Davis, the district?s director of human services at Tuesday?s meeting. ?It?s very sad. These people are all great certificated employees. It will certainly be a sad day for the district.? In total, 14 certificated staff members, including teachers, will be laid off, and 11 will have their hours reduced, according to the resolution?s staff report. Davis said those employees will still be able to be substitute teachers in the district. ?Through attrition, we could get those people back in the following years,? Davis said. Prior to the board?s vote, Western Placer Teachers Association president Mike Agrippino addressed the board. ?I?m here to echo the sadness. A part that is of small consolation is we know you didn?t want to do this either,? Agrippino said. ?One thing I want to emphasize is how difficult it was to craft the concessions we did. We had to balance the needs of 300 teachers.? Agrippino also said he was ?looking forward to working with the district and getting the teachers back in employment.? The school board voted four to one for the layoffs, which will be effective starting at the beginning of the next school year. ?With reluctance I move to approve the resolution,? board member Kris Wyatt said. Board member Paul Carras remarked that ?none of wants to vote on this but we?re in the position where we absolutely have to.? Paul Long was the solitary no-vote for the layoffs. ?I just want to give my support to the teachers,? Long said. ?I want my vote to be registered as no. I think that?s important.?