The Santa Barbara School District plans to issue about 160 layoff notices to classified positions — on top of the 120 it has already sent out to certificated staff.
“Over-noticing” gives the district fiscal security, and it’s likely that many or most of the layoffs will be undone since the districts are pursuing unification this year, estimated to net about $6 million in savings.
Classified staff members who were noticed include secretaries, athletic trainers, accounting assistants, campus safety assistants, computer support technicians, custodians, food service assistants, gardeners, housekeepers, instructional assistants, intervention center assistants, library technicians, office assistants, school health assistants and other support staff. A management position was notified of a 30 percent cut in hours.
Certificated staff include teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses and assistant principals.
If unification goes through, all district employees technically would have their jobs protected for two years, said Elaine Alvarado, classified personnel coordinator. Some jobs probably would still be eliminated this year, however, because the district needs to make cuts going forward to balance its budget, she said.
The school board approved the layoffs begrudgingly Tuesday night with the intent that many of the notices would be rescinded. The districts don’t have duplicated staffing as most unifying districts do, which is the point of the two-year protection.
“It boxes us in a bit, but it’s good for the employees,” board member Susan Deacon said.
Also on Tuesday, the board discussed finalizing its criteria for a new superintendent, which the search firm and district will post online. Among other criteria listed, an ideal candidate would be able to develop a strategic plan, advocate for the needs of all students and foster open communication within the district and with the larger community.
The board also agreed to rename San Marcos High School’s stadium “Warkentin Stadium” to recognize local businessman John Warkentin and his family’s donation of $500,000 to the district for the project.
The family has produced many stellar SMHS athletes. John Warkentin said it was his pleasure to give back to the school, and that his family still enjoys going to local high school games. The new stadium will be completed during the summer and ready for football games in the fall.