Teachers and nurses continue to receive most of the attention when it
comes to budget cuts being considered throughout the Burbank Unified
School District. But housekeeping at schools also could suffer if a
plan to lay off custodians is implemented.
As many as seven workers who polish the floors, empty trash and
sanitize restrooms could lose their jobs under a proposal being
pondered by a 16-member budget committee.
The layoffs would mean, instead of being cleaned daily, schools
would be cleaned every other day, according to Steve Bradley, the
district’s assistant superintendent for business services.
“The schools would be a mess,” said Janet Sedholm, the district’s
Parent-Teacher Assn. Council president. “Kids don’t know how to take
care of schools.”
The committee is considering about 100 possible cuts to counter
an anticipated $4-million deficit in the coming school year. Although
most of the nearly 240 preliminary layoff notices given to teachers,
counselors and nurses in March have been rescinded, about 44 teachers
and four nurses still do not know if they will have jobs in
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about the remaining teachers
getting their final layoff notices,” Burbank Teachers’ Assn.
co-president Kim Allender said this week.
District administrators are expected to make final layoff
recommendations to the school board during a special meeting at 5
Sedholm would like to see the budget committee cut outside vendor
contracts instead of laying off district employees.
During a two-day hearing late last month, an administrative law
judge upheld termination notices for 44 teachers, but ruled in favor
of the reinstatement of three, and possibly four, nurses. Although
the judge’s decision is not binding on the district, Head nurse Sjaan
Buck said it would be devastating to students if the nurses were
terminated, leaving the district with only three nurses to care for
an estimated 15,000 students.
Supt. Gregory Bowman said it’s not clear how much money could be
withheld by the state, which is struggling to overcome a $35-billion
budget deficit. The governor’s May budget revision is expected to
reflect revenues from January through May, a period that covers