School District Finalizes Teacher Layoffs

Facing up to $5 million in budget cuts, the district will issue 17 teacher layoff notices by May 13.

In an evening when the Glendora Unified School District designated the week recognizing the accomplishments of teachers and classified employees, the board finalized their decision to issue layoff notices to 17 teachers.

The school board praised teachers and staff for their commitment and hard work to education, but there would not be financial rewards for their labor.

Instead, with the district facing up to $5 million in budget cuts, they approved the pink slip issuance for 17 teachers in the district -- a heartbreaking decision for school board members.

"This type of action, at this point in time, is very necessary to do," said school board member Charles Gomer. "It is again an action that is done with significant regret."

About 40 teachers and supporters gathered at the school board meeting Monday evening, many of them wearing black t-shirts, bearing the phrase, “United for Kids,” on their backs.

They urged the school board to consider other options rather than denying teachers a job within the district.

“Creative answers and sacrifices will no doubt be needed, but layoffs are just not the right answer,” said Wayne Stam, representative for the Glendora Teachers Association.

He added that in bargaining sessions, the association had offered to cover the $1.3 million the district would reportedly save through layoffs, with “extreme concessions,” – including furlough days, deferred payments and increased class sizes.

Stam insisted that district’s budget . He pointed to an increase in the cash balance and unrestrictive total reserves, as well as the hundreds of new students the district could receive next year.

In all, Stam said the district’s financial balance figures to be about $1 million more than originally budgeted.

“This is not the time to be laying off dedicated valued employees,” said Stam. “Now is the time to rescind those notices.”

But the school board was unanimous in its decision to uphold the layoff notices.

“This something we have to do because we have statutory deadlines we have to meet such as the March 15 deadline,” said school board member Mike Gautreau. “If negotiations were settled, this is something we wouldn’t have had to do at this time, but negotiations are not settled, so this is what we have to do to protect the district financially.”

With negotiations between the district and the teachers association still ongoing, district superintendent Dr. Robert Voors said he was optimistic that a resolution could be achieved.

He said districts still await word on state funding, but the governor’s May budget revision could provide more concrete answers in the budget numbers game. He said he hoped the state would be kind to education, and allow Glendora Unified to rehire teachers whose positions with the district are on the chopping block. 

But the final word from the state may not come in time for Chris Rivas, a teacher from Sandburg Middle School. He is one of the 17 teachers to receive a layoff notice this week.

“I have to find another job, and finding a job is tough out here,” said Rivas. “I have a two-year-old daughter and I’m hoping to add more to my family. All those plans are put on hold until this whole thing settles itself.”

dee martinez May 10, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Protect the district financially??? Well, we as parents have to protect our children and they need an education, how are they supposed to get tht when ur not protecting our teachers? Its bad enough tht they are not getting the attention they need and then fill the classroom size w more students to over whelm the the teacher? And when you have a child tht is having a hard time understanding their work and the child is getting lost in this translation...its bad enough tht the teacher isnt in communication w parents for the most part and us parents have to be on it with these teachers. So if they already have approx. 160 students they teach a day-middle schools and out of those maybe 40 students are having a hard time but yet they cant be helped since the teacher is getting pd to push them right on through....so who is concerned about those 40 students tht are lost or getting lost w their education? And yet we have to let teacher's go due to protect our district and not our teachers? This is a sad shame!
NT May 10, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Our lawmakers should be ashamed. If our children and the future generations of this country are not a worthy investment, what is? Maybe we should start another war.
Rose May 10, 2011 at 03:18 PM
I agree Nick, why cut education? Does not make sense, the children suffer for this.
Colleen May 10, 2011 at 03:42 PM
I wish I kept up with when the meetings were, my own stupid fault but I would have gone to this one.... Scuse me for saying this but, how come it's the teachers who take the hit?? Has anyone questioned what the 14 (not a quoted number) get as perks and things? I never heard of one of those salaries be questioned. Also, here is a thought.. Instead of 17 layoffs, is there any reason we need so many higher ups at the elementary school level? Trying not to speak stupidly because I literally don't know all the details however, do we need principals and asst principals at that level? Wouldn't it save more money to have them share the jobs? For example, is there a reason every elementary needs principals and asst's? How many teacher layoffs would it save if they had an asst at every school and a principal who oversees, floating between them? May not sound ideal but that's half your teacher layoffs if not a lot.. I mean, they don't sound as if they're entertaining any ideas at all? We aren't taking guns off 3 rd graders which is why my suggestion applies to elementary level.... They have got to make better decisions. I'm sure some would say my suggestion is stupid but at least I'm trying to think of something.
erica landmann-johnsey May 10, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Happy "Day of the Teacher". I am so sorry to hear about the layoff notices- I wish another way to save money could have been considered. It will be a great loss to the students.
Parent May 10, 2011 at 11:06 PM
There are no assistant principals at the elementary level. Only middle and high school. Administration at the district level has been cut for a number of years. There is no head of Ed services; that position has been vacant for more than a year to save money. Transportation, programs, supplies, stipends all have been cut. Layoffs in clerical, custodial, warehouse, etc have been ongoing for years. Class size is larger, K-12. With cuts to the education budget for so many years and declining enrollment, there is no where else to go to cut. When the district is dependent on the state for money, and the state keeps cutting and deferring money, and special ed is mandatory and takes more than $4 million of the general fund, what else should the district do? Parents supplement supplies, teachers supplement, classified staff works overtime, administration wears multiple hats...all to make ends meet. The state should be ashamed. And when a district like Glendora has worked hard to stay on top of diminishing income and declining enrollment, while maintaining high API scores, the least we can do is step up and let our legislature know that we don't think cuts to education are fair to our students. Unfortunately, the district has to abide by mandatory laws and timetables, but the state doesn't seem to have to follow their own rules, and our kids suffer because of their apathy.
Colleen May 10, 2011 at 11:27 PM
see, I knew If I posted an opinion without research it'd be wrong!!! Oh well.. ok what about HIGHER levels?? Do you NEED all of the people on school board and district administrators, etc... ?? you're cutting educators. can we deal withOUT some of the 'powers that be'? Again, I'm talking off the cuff here, I don't know where to find what they spend the money on and all the admin fees etc. noone wants to see anyone lose jobs, but I'm guessing i'd rather see anyone but teachers go.. it's just sad all the way around. is there any 'big waste' anymore or, is it really all cut to the bone? I know years ago the conversation I'd be having would be more about how they were wasting funds and spending before thinking etc.. doesn't sound like alot of that is going on anymore. doesn't sound like there's an easy answer.
Parent May 11, 2011 at 01:56 AM
There is absolutely no more fat left. What is left is the bone. And that bone is the skeletal system that is our teachers, administrators and classified staff. They have all taken on multiple jobs to make up for the jobs that have been cut and the teachers are making due, remarkably well, with more kids and less supplies and support. There just aren't administrators or classified staff to be cut anymore. I wish the legislators actually had their kids in public schools so they could see what has been done to our educational system.
dee May 11, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Okay, so you are saying that there is nothing but bone left; cuts are just not possible anymore, but what about finding out what each of these administrators are making a year and asking them to take a pay cut? Your superintendent is making a six figure salary and this salary increases $30,000-40,000 every time a new super is needed in a district. Principals are making too much money. If they have years of service and an ed doctorate behind them they have the potential to make a low six figure salary. This is too much salary for managing a small elementary school. Seems to me the higher paid admin would be willing to take a pay cut. After all is it not there passion for teaching and education that brought them to the positions they are in now? Hmmmm.
Lois M. Shade May 15, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Baja Lady It isn't only Glendora USD that is laying off teachers. Charter Oak USD also had a recent round of layoffs. 23 teachers I believe with recommended salary cuts and furlough days. It would be interesting to put all this into perspective by letting us know the scope of the education cuts with numbers for the east San Gabriel Valley.
EZDuzit May 17, 2011 at 02:43 AM
I suggest that concerned parents research the salaries that the Adimistrators in the Glendora District earn, especially those on the District level. Lay off about five of those people and the district can reinstate all 17 teachers they are terminating.


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