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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 1:58 am | Fair 47º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara District Rescinds Pink Slips for Teachers, Considers Selling More Bonds

Several positions will be restored using the savings from the 57 school employees opting to retire early under an incentive program

Twenty-two elementary school teachers in the Santa Barbara Unified School District will get their jobs back for next year, after their pink slips were rescinded by the district amid savings from employees taking a retirement incentive package.

The savings will also bring back two English positions, one science, one math and a part-time child development position for the secondary schools.

Bleak outlooks for the 2012-13 year prompted the district to hand out 124 layoff and reduction-in-force notices to employees in March, but 57 staff members took early retirements for a savings of $600,000.

Even more positions may come back by the end of May, with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association having approved an agreement for certificated staff members to take seven furlough days during the next school year. That means the school year will shorten from 180 to 175 days for students, taken off the last week of the school calendar. The school board approved the tentative agreement during a special meeting on Tuesday.

In another item, Facilities Director David Hetyonk updated the board on the Measure Q bond measure-funded projects that are finished or in progress with the $25 million of $75 million bond funds already sold for the secondary district. Along with district financial adviser Joanna Bowes from KNN Public Finance, he recommended that the board authorize another $15 million in bonds be sold in late May or early June.

A second sale of $30 million was planned for August 2014, but Bowes recommends “refunding” — a form of refinancing the bond debt — to get a lower interest rate and have an earlier sale.

The elementary district, approved to sell $35 million in general obligation bonds, can’t make a second sale yet, but the school board will consider the secondary district sale at its next meeting.

Dozens of projects have already been completed or are under construction, and Hetyonk said there’s a little less than $1 million left of that $25 million, so no new projects will start until more bond money is available. He added that if the sale doesn’t happen this year, a renovation project of the Santa Barbara High School gym won’t begin this summer as planned.

Junior high and high schools have big projects under way and a lot more about to break ground this summer, so classrooms won’t be disturbed. Wireless Internet infrastructure has been completed — or will be soon — in all secondary schools.

Other bond-measure-funded projects that are completed or in progress are:

» La Colina Junior High — hillside stabilization and site drainage

» La Cumbre Junior HighAmericans with Disabilities Act improvements

» Dos Pueblos High — heating and cooling system replacement

» San Marcos High — new wing classroom addition, water and electrical upgrades, a photovoltaic study to determine if solar panels should be installed on the classroom roofs

» Santa Barbara High — kitchen upgrades, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements

Planned projects that will be funded under the $25 million in bonds already sold:

» Goleta Valley Junior High — intercom system replacement

» La Colina Junior High — intercom system replacement, parking lot asphalt replacement

» La Cumbre Junior High — intercom replacement, design for a theater modernization, parking lot asphalt replacement

» Dos Pueblos High — staff parking lot and cafeteria road asphalt replacement, upgrading locks and keys at the gym

» Santa Barbara Junior High — science classroom modifications, playground asphalt replacement

» Santa Barbara High — kitchen renovation phases two and three, field house modernization and phase one of the gym renovation

» San Marcos High — restroom upgrades

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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