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Schools prepare to issue pink slip notifications

After months of precarious predictions for school budgets, the impact will be felt this week for some local districts.

The county’s public and charter schools are in the hole at least $5.6 million dollars, and for many districts, slashing payroll is inevitable.

Districts face a March 15 deadline to notify teachers they are being laid off per their statewide union contract. The contract binds a district’s hands, some local administrators said, forcing them to send layoff notices to teachers who may not ultimately be laid off as the budget picture becomes clearer.



In the Grass Valley School District, that means nearly six full time and seven temporary teaching positions could be eliminated when trustees meet tonight, said Superintendent Jon Byerrum.

The district employs people in about 100 full-time-equivalent teaching positions at four campuses in kindergarten through eighth grade.




If board members approve the cuts, they also would approve reducing two administrative positions from full-time to half-time. The cuts should count for about $500,000 against the district’s projected $750,000 deficit heading into next week.

Byerrum didn’t rule out the possibility some of the employees could have their positions restored, but said he must prepare for a worst-case scenario if California lawmakers pursue further education cuts later this spring.

Making the cuts is painful, he said.

“All of us administrators used to be teachers, and what we love to do is build programs and watch children succeed,” Byerrum said. “The most painful thing to do is tear those programs down.”

The Grass Valley School District meets 7 p.m. today at 10840 Gilmore Way.

Union Hill cuts coming

Union Hill School District Board members will decide on a resolution to eliminate 6.4 teaching positions for the upcoming school year. The district is facing a $330,000 deficit in the upcoming fiscal year.

Three of those teachers will find jobs at the Union Hill Charter School, said Superintendent Eric Fredrickson, who also said some of the noticed teachers could have a job in the fall.

“It’s hard to explain to people this is just preliminary,” Fredrickson said. “It’s very frightening for some people.”

Union Hill trustees meet at 6:30 p.m. today at the school on 10879 Bartlett Drive in Grass Valley. The district operates a K-8 school and a K-8 charter school at the same campus.

Clear Creek reductions

At the one-school Clear Creek District, painful cuts also are looming.

When they meet at 5 p.m. today, trustees will discuss reducing services of certificated employees and discontinuing some services, along with mid-year budget changes.

The K-8 school is on McCourtney Road south of Grass Valley.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.


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