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Update: RUSD to issue layoff notices

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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A total of 106.17 full-time equivalent certificated employees will be issued layoff notices at Rocklin Unified School District on or before March 15.

 

The decision, voted unanimously at last Wednesday night’s school board meeting  (Trustee Camille Maben was not in attendance), was something that Trustee Wendy Lang said was “one of the toughest times to be up here.”

 

“It’s a task that needs to be done in light of all the cutting that needs to be done,” Assistant Superintendent of Human Services David Pope told trustees.

 

The number of “pink slips” being distributed to RUSD employees will offer maximum flexibility for the district to meet the financial obligations, Pope said.

 

But all 106.17 full-time equivalent certificated employees who will receive notices, may not lose their jobs, Pope said.

 

Preliminary reduction in force notices will be sent out to a range of district employees including two full-time equivalent nursing positions, 4.40 FTE counselors and other administrative and support employees, totaling 8.65 FTE employees. 

 

In the elementary schools, a total of 70 FTE employees will receive layoff notices, including 65 FTE self-contained classroom teachers and additional cuts to physical education, music and visual and performing arts positions.

 

At the middle school level, 15.18 FTE employees are to be notified, with a reduction in force made to language arts, math, science, history, art and physical education among other areas.

 

At Rocklin’s high schools, a total of 12.34 FTE employees will receive layoff notices by March 15. 

 

This is one of the first steps the district must take to meet the $3.3 million reduction in state revenue for the district, said Barbara Patterson, associate superintendent of business services.

 

“We hope to retain as many employees as possible,” she said.

 

Other options in addition to or instead of employee layoffs, could include district furloughs or with the parties involved agreeing to take a salary cut. Patterson said that approximately $600,000 could be saved through a 1 percent salary cut – something that may be an option for the district in order to save jobs.

 

Board President Todd Lowell said he’s been getting a lot of concerned teachers asking how they can help. His answer is to talk to their unions, as pay cuts save jobs, he said.

 

Trustee Steve Paul shared his frustrations with the situation.

 

“I get very irritated when I have to take a look at this type of thing,” he said. “I get irritated at the state and national level. It’s unfortunate that they can’t get their act together enough to take care of the public schools the way that they should.”

 

Lang offered apologies to the situation.

 

“I apologize to the teachers out there,” she said. “Now’s the time to work together.”

 

The employees to be issued layoff notices will receive a packet with information, addressing potential questions. They are also asked to verify their seniority and credentials and each has the opportunity to request a hearing to ask questions and raise concerns.

 

“We feel confident that we’ve set things in place in a professional manner,” Pope said.

 

For more information, go to the RUSD Web site at www.rocklin.k12.ca.us and click on the Budget Updates/Survey link under District News on the top left side.

 

Contact Lauren Weber at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.