Saturday, March 05, 2011

Massive teacher layoffs possible in Chula Vista

Massive teacher layoffs possible in Chula Vista
By Ashly McGlone
March 3, 2011

The Chula Vista Elementary School District is in the process of issuing potential layoff notices to hundreds of teachers and other credentialed staff.

Among the possible cuts are some 300 teachers, vice principals and psychologists. The district employs some 1,400 teachers.

The district estimates that it would face a $14 million deficit in its $193 million budget if the governor’s proposed tax extension is not placed on the ballot and approved by voters in June. Under a best-case scenario, the district would face a $6 million shortfall, a deficit it could cover with its $31 million reserve account.

Principals have been encouraged to hold one-on-one meetings with potentially affected staff, and larger meetings were held throughout the week with district staff. Employees were also provided information on how to file for unemployment.

The purpose of the meetings?

To “put a human perspective on a very challenging budget issue,” district spokesman Anthony Millican said. “Our district is looking at draconian cuts if the tax extensions are not approved by voters.”

The impact of the cuts would be absorbed through larger class sizes and staffing shifts, Millican said.

Decisions have not been made regarding secretaries, janitors and other nonteaching staff.

“In the past we have been able to withdraw the pink slips not long after the March 15 deadline as more concrete information became available. This year it seems to be a lot more challenging in obtaining the crystal ball,” Millican said.

School ends June 2. The new school year begins July 20.

Chula Vista Elementary School District is the largest elementary district in the state and serves 27,400 students on 45 campuses.

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