On a motion put forward by vice president Jim Cartmill on March 12, the Sweetwater Union High School district voted to send out pink slips to 211 employees. The RIF, or reduction in force, was supported by trustees John McCann and Arlie Ricasa.
The motion was opposed by board president Pearl Quiñones and trustee Bertha Lopez. Lopez said the district should look elsewhere in the budget for the anticipated cuts.
The layoff notices will go out to 34 English teachers, 25 math teachers, 25 social science teachers, 17 biological science teachers, and 12 librarians, among others.
Alex Anguiano, president of the Sweetwater Education Association, said in an interview prior to the board meeting that he didn't understand why the district needed to send out the notices. In a negotiated settlement last year, which Anguiano described as "civil," the association accepted up to six furlough days in relation to the district deficit.
Anguiano also expressed concern about the havoc the layoff notices may play with staffing for the master schedule in the upcoming school year.
At the March 12 board meeting, interim superintendent Ed Brand noted that there "has never been a worse time for public education." The district anticipates a deficit of $27 million.
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