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Jobs, programs could go on chopping block

Molly Shore

The Burbank Unified School District is struggling to maintain jobs

and programs, with little hope of putting a budget in place for the

next year while it plays a waiting game with the state Legislature.

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“Right now, it’s hard to know what programs will be affected

because no action has been taken by the state Legislature for fiscal

year 2003-2004,” district Supt. Gregory Bowman said.

However, Bowman said the entire 10th-grade counseling program, the

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Gifted and Talented Education program, school improvement programs

and any of the categorical funds designated by the state could be

affected.

The district’s worst-case scenario of a $4-million deficit might

include the termination of teachers, resulting in a return to larger

size classes in kindergarten through third grade, Bowman said.

Preparing for the possibility of employee layoffs, Personnel

Services Director Nancy Gascich presented a preliminary list of

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certificated jobs that could be eliminated at the school board

meeting Thursday. Since the meeting, the list has undergone some

changes, Gascich said, but until she addresses the board at its March

6 meeting, it is not known who will receive the preliminary notices.

However, Gascich said, employees with the least seniority will be the

first to go if job reductions are necessary.

Certificated employees include teachers, nurses, psychologists and

administrators.

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The state mandates that most certificated employees be given

preliminary notices by March 15, and final notices no later than May

15, Gascich said. The exception is administrators, who must be

notified by June.

“There’s a lot of anxiety out there,” Burbank Teachers Assn.

co-president Kim Allendersaid.

The district’s budget is due to the state by June 30. However, the

state might not issue its budget until several months later, making

it impossible for the district to know how much state money it will

receive.


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