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Agreement to save jobs in the works

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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On or before May 15, final layoff notices will go out to 19 certificated employees within Rocklin Unified School District, according to district documents. The number, reduced from the 106.7 full-time equivalent certificated employees that received preliminary notices on or before March 15, included certificated employees that were not part of the notice of defense hearings. District employees had the opportunity to request a hearing after the March 15 notices went out. Of the certificated employees who received notices, 89 requested a hearing; 78 of those employees returned a notice of defense after the first hearing, according to district documents. Board members voted to issue final notices to the 19 certificated employees, but were hopeful the district may be able to rescind the notices in the near future. “This is the hardest vote,” Board President Todd Lowell said at last week’s school board meeting. The board unanimously approved the vote to issue the final notices. Lowell also gave a glimmer of hope to teachers. He said he is grateful for the outreach of Rocklin Teachers Professional Association and hopes to bring people back to their teaching jobs next year. Board members expressed hope derived from two previous closed-session meetings with RTPA. Mary Dick, president of RTPA, said that the meetings with the district were productive and that a tentative agreement had been reached and will result in a group vote, followed by a district vote. Neither Dick nor district representatives could give details on the agreement, except that it may be the tool needed to save all jobs. “I think things are really looking pretty positive,” Dick said. “Our goal is to save everyone.” Dick said the collaborative work with the district was initiated by group desires. “Everything we do basically comes from our members,” she said. “There was great concern over losing their colleagues.” Superintendent Kevin Brown said the implementation of the tentative agreement is dependent on a number of things including the May 19 ballot, which includes Proposition 1B directly related to education funding. If passed, the proposition would bring $9.3 billion to California school districts. Brown said the tentative agreement has the potential, if all the pieces come together, to save jobs. The tentative agreement may be brought to the school board sometime in June, Brown said. Also at last Wednesday’s RUSD board meeting, a new face was welcomed to the district. Approved at a recent meeting was Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources David Pope’s retirement effective June 30. Pope began his 19 years within the district as assistant principal at Spring View Middle School in 1991. From there, he became principal of the middle school as well and later entered his current position. Taking Pope’s position will be Bob Lee, who has a strong resume with schools, according to Brown. He is the “ideal” candidate to carry on Pope’s role, Brown said. The board approved Lee’s upcoming role, “to replace the irreplaceable,” Lowell said. Lee said he is “thrilled to be a part of the Rocklin family.” Contact Lauren Weber at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.