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Layoffs legal, more to come, says DUSD super

POSTED July 16, 2013 4:18 p.m.

Despite questions of legality, recent teacher layoff notices issued by Denair Unified School District will not be rescinded — and even more positions are set to be cut, according to DUSD interim superintendent.

The district will move forward with this month’s layoffs even though it did not meet the May 15 notification deadline outlined in the California Education Code. According to the Education Code, in the event that the employee is not given the notice on time, “he or she shall be deemed reemployed for the ensuing school year.”

"Ed Code is there to protect certificated, classified, and school districts from arbitrary treatment.  Timelines are clear; they are there for a reason, and they need to be followed,” said Denair Unified Teachers Association President Barry Cole. “None of our teachers were laid off before May 15.”

According to DUSD Interim Superintendent Walt M. Hanline, the layoffs will still take place with even more positions set to be cut.

“It was a clerical and technicality error,” said Hanline. “We will still move forward with the layoffs for this August.”

The district will be holding a special board meeting today to approve the certificated layoffs.

“During this meeting I want to make sure there’s no question that the layoffs are applicable,” said Hanline. “I’m also going to take the opportunity to lay off more people that at this point I didn’t think I would.”

The layoffs come as Denair Unified finds itself in real financial trouble. To help put the district on the financial level in the short-term, the district has asked for a $1.25 million loan from the Stanislaus County Office of Education.

The district has not yet reached an agreement with bargaining units of the teachers and support staff unions on a mandated 3.5 percent cut from salaries.  Since December, 18 teachers have been issued pink slip notifications.

"From the moment our association found out about the fiscal crisis, all we have asked is to be able to work together to fix the problem,” said Cole.  “The only way to fix the problem is with honesty and transparency.  We have continually asked the administration and the district for real information, and just to do everything the right way. We don't disagree that there should be layoffs.  Each person employed by a school district has certain rights and guarantees, and we, DUTA, are committed to make sure those rights and guarantees are respected and followed for each of our members."

DUSD will hold its special board meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Denair Middle School Coyote Center, 3460 Lester Rd. All board meetings are open to the public.

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