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Seven certificated teachers cut from FUHSD

The decision to not rehire seven certificated employees in the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) and the reduction of hours for a designated classified position was the most recent result of the high school district’s need to cut back spending for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Since the board of trustees had approved a budget reduction of $1,822,675 on March 2, at their May 10 meeting they implemented those reductions by deciding not to rehire the seven certificated employees.

The district’s staff carried out the board’s decision by using a selection process that involved a review of the employees’ credentials and seniority, “bumping,” “skipping” and breaking ties between or among employees with the same first dates of paid service. The selection process was in accordance with the requirements of the Education Code, according to the FUHSD agenda.

FUHSD superintendent Dale Mitchell once again cited the district’s declining enrollment and the lack of California funding for the need to tighten the school district’s budget, and believes this decision will allow for the district to make the necessary staffing adjustments in order to maintain a balanced program and have a fiscally sound budget.

“This is not an enjoyable task, but it is the unfortunate reality,” said Mitchell. “In the past two to three years, the State of California has reduced its funding by 15 percent [for education]. Those are real dollars that support real programs for students.”

The decision to not re-sign the certificated employees in question will save the district $279,938 and will allow for the restoration to the school’s metal shop and geographic inquiry and geographic information system (GIS) technologies.

The certified employees were informed prior to March 15 that the board of trustees did not intend to reemploy them, as required by the teachers’ union.

Upon reception of this information, two certified employees of the district submitted a “timely request” for a hearing to determine if there was cause for not re-employing them for the ensuing school year.

It was found that all jurisdictional requirements were satisfied, and the board of trustees agreed to adopt the administrative law judge’s decision.

In addition to the layoffs, the district is also reducing a secretarial position at Oasis high school by ten hours a week, which will save the district $9,458.

According to Mitchell, the school district will look at rehiring staff if it receives additional funding from the state.

“One of our most valuable assets is our employees,” said Mitchell. “No employee is unimportant to our district. However, it is our responsibility to provide the highest quality education we can with the resources we have.”

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