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Pasadena schools receive 164 layoff notices

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education has ordered layoff notices for more than 164 teachers, nurses, librarians, counselors, and administrators in an effort to close a $23 million funding gap caused by an 18 percent cut in state funding.California law requires school districts to inform certified employees about potential layoffs by March 15.

The Thursday night meeting of the Board, held at the McKinley School auditorium, included passionate speeches from PUSD high school students, parents, teachers and other employees.

"Our budget crisis is neither a simple nor short-term dilemma, and we must work to influence the way Sacramento funds public schools to reflect the priorities of our community," said Board of Education President Tom Selinske. "I applaud the sacrifices that everyone in PUSD is making to save jobs and protect the momentum of accelerated student achievement."

One of three unions and the association of management employees that represent PUSD employees have agreed to unpaid work furloughs in order to save jobs and protect classrooms. Teamsters, who represent the district's maintenance workers, agreed to a five-day unpaid furlough in 2010 to 2011. The association of PUSD administrators also agreed to a five-day unpaid furlough. CSEA, the union that represents mostly clerical workers agreed in concept to furlough days. The furlough days also apply to the District's top management.

The District is at impasse with the United Teachers of Pasadena, and scheduled to begin mediation on March 23. A number of high school students from Marshall, Blair, Pasadena High and Muir spoke passionately about the impact of music and arts programs on their lives. Most were there in an effort to save the jobs of music and arts teachers.

The School District says layoff notices for an unspecified number of classified employees will be issued no later than May 15.