Feb 26, 2014 6:38 PM
Teachers in the Chico Unified School District could be facing layoffs after slumping enrollment this year but they'll have to wait until this spring to know if they still have a job. Every year, the district evaluates it's budget and identifies services that won't be needed in the next year, which causes officials to issue preliminary layoff notices. "Every year by March 15th, we have to notify all of our certified employees if they're coming back next year or not. So we have to decide, actually, before that in February how many people we're going to need in August without knowing our budget and without knowing how many students we'll have," explained Bob Feaster, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Chico Unified School District.
With students moving out of the city and some going to charter schools, the district has seen a decrease in enrollment. "We experienced about 150 less students coming to our district this year in 13-14 than we anticipated. So we're a little over staffed right now and we anticipate that same drop next year," said Feaster.
Parents and teachers will have a voice in how the funding to the schools will be used and that could help eliminate some of the layoffs. “We won't know until June what gets approved out of that. So in an abundance of caution, we've put those positions that are funded out of these flexible dollars on this resolution just in case there's a recommendation or a decision to spend them in another way," said Feaster.
The current plan is to cut 59 positions, but the district is optimistic that the numbers will be much less. "As we go through the spring, we hope to rescind those. Every time we get a resignation, a retirement, or we learn more information, we'll quickly take teachers off that list," said Feaster.
Officials say it's a painful process and they don't like doing it but given the circumstances, cuts need to be made.
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