School District Intends to Terminate 75 Teachers

The Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) will be giving notices of their intention to terminate 75 teachers unless other budget suggestions are adopted by the TUSD Board before May 15, 2010.
At Tuesday’s TUSD Board Meeting that lasted until midnight, the TUSD Board adopted a resolution of intention to terminate Certificated Employees due to a reduction of particular kinds of services.
The services at specified grade levels and the 75.6 full-time employees affected (FTE) would be: Adapted PE/K-6 (1 FTE), SDC/LH/K-12 (2 FTE), Resource Specialist/K-6 (1 FTE), Language Arts/7-8 (1 FTE), Math/Science/7-8 (1 FTE), Drafting/9-12 (1 FTE), Foreign Language/9-12 (.6 (1 FTE), Math9-12 (1 FTE), Opportunity/9-12 (2 FTE), English/9-12 (1 FTE), and 64 FTE Classroom Teachers at the k-8 grade levels.
Assistant Superintendent Mike Trainor clarified that there would be an estimated 5 positions of the nearly 76 teachers proposed to be terminated that will be vacant and only cut on paper.
Trainor also explained that two other resolutions adopted by the TUSD Board involving the determination of District needs in selected Certificated Positions, Competency Standards, and determining tie-breaking criteria would also come into play as the District and labor groups look at proposed terminated positions and their seniority.
There is a Budget Advisory Committee that is still working on budget suggestions including various versions of class size increases and making students 7-12 pay for athletic and extra-curricular transportation.
There are 12 budget suggestions that would make up the nearly $4 million deficit the District is facing for the 2010/2011 school year. Options also include considering the California Governor’s budget impacts on the District.
The District and employees have until May 15, 2010 to find other budget solutions before teachers are terminated.
TUSD President Frank Lima explained that in previous years the District has spent about $4 to $5 million a year in reserves while employees contributed salary cuts toward meeting the goals of the District and the needs of the students. Lima additionally noted that Modesto, which is double the size of Turlock, is issuing over 300 layoff notices.
“This Board asked the administration to make every effort to save jobs and it’s reflected in the numbers being presented,” said Lima. “It creates some real challenges for us because we still have the same budget crisis the others have; I’d like to think that we’ve been more prudent, more conservative with the help of our employees to allow us to be in a position that I’d like to think is better than some of our neighboring districts… I wonder sometimes but I believe that is the case.”
Superintendent Sonny DaMarto stated that these are layoff notices that must be given by law incase other budget solutions are not found by May 15, 2010.
“It’s my hope and it’s always been my hope that we will be able to weather this crisis together as a team and we will be able to do that without anybody losing a job,” said DaMarto. “Everyone will have to suffer in order for us to be able to make it through this crisis but I don’t think that anybody needs to lose a job.”
The Budget Advisory Committee will meet again on March 8th at 4:30pm in the Turlock High School library.

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