Students may face larger class sizes and lose some electives if the makes good on the layoff notices it sent last month to 374 teachers.
To “maximize flexibility” in a down economy, school districts need to notify by March 15 any teachers who may be let go in the coming school year. On March 1, those letters went out to 374 CUSD teachers, ranging from longtime art teachers to band directors to special education instructors.
The school district estimates it will have to . Bill Habermehl, superintendent of the Orange County Department of Education, said his department was requiring districts to plan for the very worst.
“It would be irresponsible of me to tell them to budget on the assumption that No. 1, the economy of California will get better, and No. 2, will pass. That would be speculation at best,” Habermehl said.
Although at least two tax initiatives promising money for schools are headed for the November ballot, school districts must pass their budgets by June 30.
“The only way for some of the school districts to balance their budgets is to put those pink slips on the line,” he added.
With no miracle expected from Sacramento, according to Habernehl, the stakes are high. In Capistrano Unified, here’s how the 374 teacher layoffs break out:
- 14 tenured teachers, including all of the fine arts instructors at the district’s high schools who teach drawing and painting
- 188 teachers are on temporary, year-to-year contracts; some of them have been working under such a contract since 2007
- 172 were permanent or on probationary status at some earlier point, let go, then rehired as temporary teachers; some of these teachers started with the district as early as 2001
“The services you are currently performing will not be required for the ensuing 2012-2013 school year," the various letters sent to the three types of teachers stated. See attached PDF.
Of these teachers, 24 are music teachers. Twenty-eight have special certification that allows them to teach dual immersion classes. Should all the layoffs go through, they put the into jeopardy at , with 14 teachers pink-slipped, and at , which is only in its second year of the program.
In addition, 60 special education teachers received layoff notices, as did 10 psychologists, seven counselors and two nurses.
Patch posed detailed questions about programming changes the layoffs may require to Marcus Walton, the district’s chief communications officer, but he did not respond.
Habermehl said with such draconian cuts, there’s nothing to do except get back to the basics.
“You have to figure out why are we here. The 3 ‘Rs’ -- reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic,” said Habermehl, who laments the potential loss of electives and advanced classes.
“It not only hurts you immediately, but it hurts you down the road,” he said, referring to imaginations that won’t get sparked, career paths that won’t be pursued.
Fewer teachers mean larger class sizes. The Board of Trustees has scheduled a public hearing at its April 25 meeting to increase class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
The notice does not go into any detail, indicated kindergarten classes could grow by two students, from 31 to 33, and grades 1-3 could grow by one student, from 30 to 31.
Because class sizes are already set at the maximum level allowed by state law, the district must apply for a waiver from the state Board of Education to exceed those upper limits.
The number of teachers receiving pinks slips has steadily crept higher each year. Last year, the district sent out notices to teachers who filled the equivalent of . In 2010, that number was 322, according to the Orange County Register.
Three years ago, facing a $25-million shortfall, the district notified 262 teachers they may not have their job, the Register reported. Back then, 500 people jammed the trustees’ chambers to protest the possible cutbacks. In 2008, parents signed petitions and wore black in protest.
This year, there was little comment and a near-empty hearing room.
The school district also offered this year to take the district up on the deal. Interestingly, four teachers on the layoff lists are also on the golden parachute list.
Below is a chart of those teachers who work at multiple sites. The six Patches that have areas served by Capistrano Unified are publishing the details on layoffs in their cities. Click below to see each area’s list of pink-slipped teachers.
Name Year Hired Status Position Notes Kerry Reid 1997 Permanent
Director Pupil ServicesNina Glassen 2010 Temporary Teacher on Special Assignment Multiple Sites Gayle Bentley 2010 Rehired/temp Music teacher Joanna Bowden 2009 Temporary Psychologist Megan Campbell 2011 Temporary Psychologist Chadwick Cunningham 2005 Rehired/temp Music teacher Melissa Clark 2009 Temporary Psychologist Erin Collins 2010 Temporary Psychologist Julie Curley 2010 Temporary Special Education Adaptive PE Terri Douglas 2007 Rehired/temp Nurse Shawna Ellis 2004 Rehired/temp Music teacher Alyson Fagioli 2010 Temporary Psychologist Jennifer Feeser 2011 Temporary Psychologist Diane Geller 2007 Rehired/temp Music teacher Susan Gerling 2005 Rehired/temp Music teacher Erin Glidden 2009 Temporary Psychologist Kristian Gonzalez 2009 Temporary Psychologist Carly Hancock 2007 Rehired/temp Music teacher Lauren Harvey 2012 Temporary Music teacher Andrea Howard 2006 Rehired/temp Music teacher Tina Huynh 2007 Rehired/temp Music teacher Amelia Koskella 2009 Temporary Psychologist Dina Lachemann 2011 Temporary Special Education Adaptive PE Jeffrey Long 2011 Temporary Music teacher Nathan O’Leary 2010 Temporary Psychologist Ann Roche 2007 Rehired/temp Nurse Cheryl Sampson 2011 Temporary Special Education Lana Selecman 2011 Temporary Speech Pathologist Ashley Talbert 2006 Rehired/temp Counselor Julie Tayne 2011 Temporary Special Education Special Education Services Amy Butier 2011 Temporary Special Education Mild/Mod Damon Garner 2010 Temporary Alternative Instructor
Fresh StartMelissa Quarcini 2010 Temporary Special Education Mod/Severe Julie Taylor 2010 Temporary Special Education Adult Transition