School district administrators have rescinded 160 preliminary
termination notices, five weeks after telling nearly 25% of the
district’s teachers, certificated employees and administrators that
they might not have a job next year.
Ninety-two workers still face the ax because of an anticipated
$4-million shortage from the state. The district has until May 15 to
send final termination notices.
Laura Mixon, a first-grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School,
had her job spared. The six-year employee said she is not looking
elsewhere for a teaching position, although she did get applications
from the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Saugus Union
School District when she received her preliminary notice.
“I’m hopeful that we won’t have to go through this again,” Mixon
said. “But this is more proof that you never know what will happen.”
Nancy Gascich, the district’s personnel services director, said
her office was able to rescind the notices because of new information
from the state.
Administrators were told the state will not eliminate smaller
class sizes, which keeps kindergarten through third-grade classes at
no more than 20 students.
The rumor mill in Sacramento hinted that the adult school might
have to rely on block-grant funding next year, but Gascich said that
is not the case. The district anticipates it will have sufficient
funding to bring back a large portion of English as a second
language, adult parenting and adult education classes, as well as the
adult tutoring program.
The district also will be able to provide the Regional
Occupational Program next year, which had been in question. However,
the district has not heard how much money its programs will receive
from the state next year.
Issuing the 252 termination notices became necessary when no
information was coming from Sacramento, Gascich said.
“The effect is that it has gotten Sacramento’s attention, and even
though it devastated teachers, maybe that’s what had to happen to get
[the legislators’] attention,” Gascich said.
Kim Allender, Burbank Teachers’ Assn. co-president, said that even
with the recision of the layoff notices, the district might lose as
many as two dozen teachers.
“I know of people already who have made the decision to leave, and
other people who have been so disgusted with the way they’ve been
treated, that they might leave, too,” Allender said.
Cate Conwell, a fourth-grade teacher at Miller Elementary School,
did not wait to see if her termination would be rescinded. As soon as
she received her preliminary notice, Conwell applied at the Saugus
Union School District and was hired. She begins her new post in