Denair Unified School District will discuss potential layoffs for the 2015-2016 academic year, as well as provide an early notification incentive for veteran teachers considering retirement.
“Our district is on proper financial footing, but a downtick in enrollment requires that we downsize our workforce,” said DUSD Superintendent Aaron Rosander.
It is because of this reason that two full time equivalent positions are expected to be laid off at Denair High School for the upcoming school year.
“There were originally supposed to be three, but our budget has improved so now we’re down to two,” said Denair Unified Teachers Association president Barry Cole. “I am optimistic as our enrollment picture becomes clearer that we won’t need to have any layoffs, as this is mainly a response to declining enrollment than budget issues.”
Rosander reported that two teaching positions are not expected to be targeted, as DUSD is planning to carry out partial layoffs.
“Whole teaching positions are not expected to be eliminated and our comprehensive high school with its college preparatory programs will remain solidly in place,” wrote Rosander.
“What this would mean is that there will be a handful of teachers who, instead of teaching six classes, will be teaching five classes. A few full time teachers will become part time teachers,” added Rosander. “At this point, I am unable to tell you the number of teachers that will be affected by these layoffs.”
The particular kinds of services that will potentially be affected are English 9, English Essentials, English 10, Geometry, Physics, Civics/Economics, World History, Physical Education, Marketing & Entrepreneurship/Health, Health, Computer Operations/Applications/Computer Literacy, and Spanish 3 teaching positions.
According to Rosander, this reduction is not expected to affect employee benefits.
“We are working as best as we can on behalf of our employees and our school,” said Rosander. “I have no doubt that in the near future we will rehire teachers and add new teachers as a district-wide enrollment continues to show positive signs.”
The Board of Trustees is required to give written notice to all certificated employees to be affected by these partial layoffs before March 15. The layoffs will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year.
During Thursday’s meeting, the DUSD Board of Trustees is also scheduled to consider the approval of an early notification incentive for those positions expected to be reduced next year—particularly for those already considering retirement.
With this early notification incentive, DUSD is hoping to minimize the number of staff receiving layoff notifications. Instead, teachers are voluntary asked to provide an irrevocable notice of resignation or retirement.
“We’re proposing an ‘early notice’ incentive to veteran teachers who are considering retirement,” wrote Rosander. “The hiring of less senior teachers for those who retire will have a positive impact on the district’s budget.”
For employees who submit a notice of resignation or retirement to the District before 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, DUSD will award an employer contribution of $2,000 as a cash payout. Employees who submit a notice between 8 a.m. on Feb. 27 and 4:30 p.m. on March 5 will receive a cash payout of $1,000. Those who submit a notice between 8 a.m. on March 6 and 4:30 p.m. on March 12 will receive a $500 cash payout.
According to the District, the number of notifications may exceed the level of needed reductions, but it believes that knowing sooner than later whether a teacher is already planning to leave will greatly help transition into the upcoming school year.
The layoff discussion does not end there, as the Board of Trustees is also scheduled to consider eliminating 16 Denair Charter Academy teachers for the 2015-2016 school year during Thursday’s meeting.
However, Rosander assured that this is a fairly routine procedure that occurs annually.
“These teachers are hired on an annual contract based on school enrollment,” wrote Rosander. “At the end of the school year these contracts expire and layoffs are issued.”
Once the District receives verified enrollment numbers for the upcoming school year, Rosander reports that almost all positions, possibly more, will be brought back.
The Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday. For more information, visit dusd.k12.ca.us.