Business

Merced City School District OKs 75 layoff notices

It's official: 75 employees were given notice that their jobs might be cut at the Merced City School District board meeting Tuesday night.

The board has been holding meetings for two months to decide how it should cut costs to close an unprecedented gap in state funding. The layoffs completed Tuesday are expected to save the district up to $6.7 million.

What remains unknown is the number of employees the district will be able to hire back.

Under the gun of a March 15 statutory deadline to send teachers layoff notices the district had to take action Tuesday night, but many workers will still be employed next year. Temporary school employees are almost always noticed under this law, even in better economic times.

"People will be brought back until the money runs dry," Associate Superintendent Greg Spicer said. "We're relatively confident that at least for the next year, we will be able to bring all of those people back."

Spicer added that some employees might come back into different jobs than they previously held.

The jobs that were cut from local schools include 56 K-8 teachers, two special day class teachers, seven Reading First coaches, four content specialists, two preschool instructional coaches and one family literacy specialist.

At the district office, the coordinator for student and family services and the director of pupil services position will be eliminated and those duties will be taken up by other district employees.

The assistant superintendent position -- which has been left vacant since two other administrators assumed the superintendent's duties after Terry Brace's February resignation -- will remain open through the 2009-2010 school year.

Reporter Danielle Gaines can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dgaines@mercedsun-star.com.

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