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FUHSD explains elimination of classified staff

Special to Village News

 

Last updated 8/5/2019 at 11:59am



In the July 18 issue, the Village News addressed issues regarding the elimination of classified staff positions, as well as the reduction of hours for classified staff at Fallbrook Union High School District. Most of the concerns resulted from the elimination of the positions of paraprofessionals who provide support for special education students.

FUHSD Chapter President (representing classified staff) and paraprofessional, Rose Peralta expressed her concern that the needs of the most vulnerable students would not be met, and FUHSD parent and PTSA historian Julie Trafford echoed these same concerns. At press time that week, the Village News had not received a response from FUHSD in time for publication.

The new FUHSD superintendent, Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez, has since responded and explained the district’s reasoning behind the recent layoffs and reduction of hours for classified staff.

Garza-Gonzalez explained the district’s position via email, stating that, “The reduction in staff was due to a number of reasons including being overstaffed in some areas, restructuring of programs, the elimination of the House System at Fallbrook High School, a lower number of retirements than expected, declining enrollment and ensuring the financial solvency of Fallbrook Union High School District.”

The Superintendent further explained that, “It is not an easy decision to eliminate positions that impact all stakeholders, but much thought was given to each layoff before a final decision was made. Of the 12 positions approved by the Board for layoff, five were vacant positions that did not result in an employee being displaced.”

The district recognized the concerns of parents, school staff, and community members concerning the district’s decision to cut positions and reduce the hours of paraprofessionals who serve the district’s most vulnerable students, but Garza-Gonzalez is confident that the district will ensure that students receiving special education services will continue receiving support.

Garza-Gonzalez concluded that, “We (the district) have increased certificated support and have increased the number of courses offered under a co-teaching model since inclusion secures opportunities for our students with disabilities to learn alongside their general education peers.”

 

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