School Board rescinds 22 layoff notices
April 9, 2009
The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District voted Wednesday to reduce the number of layoff notices it would extend to teachers from 95 to 73 full-time equivalent positions.
The move was made at a regular meeting Wednesday at the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center in Truckee, after weeks of cost-cutting by the district in out-of-classroom areas.
Beth Curtis, a lawyer for the Tahoe Truckee Education Association, said she was pleased with the resolution but would like to see the number of layoff notices decrease further before the teachers have notice of layoff hearings on April 28 and 29.
“I need you to get that number down as low as you can,” Curtis said when she addressed the board. “If not, I will have no choice but to go to the evidentiary hearings.”
Curtis said the current layoff notice still encompasses more than 20 percent of the district’s teaching staff, but if that number can drop significantly the teachers would be willing to reach a settlement with the district.
Her comments came on the heals of a number of impassioned pleas from residents and parents for the district not to layoff teachers as a cost-saving’s measure.
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“It undermines the trust and confidence in the management of the school district,” said tearful Tahoe City resident Robert Morris.
Tahoe City resident Stan Scott said if the school district went ahead with a proposal to close North Tahoe Middle School, he’d consider going to another school district.
“I will not have my children bussed,” Scott said.
District Director of Facilities John Britto also presented on the logistics of moving the district administration offices ” currently on the south end of the Northwoods Boulevard- Donner Pass Road intersection ” to the Sierra Mountain Community Center.
A $25,000 payday could await Tahoe Truckee School District teachers who opt for a proposed early retirement being offered by the district.
The proposal, which would need approval from the school district’s board of trustees in a Thursday afternoon meeting, offers teachers who are near retirement a tiered-incentive program to retire so younger, less well compensated teachers may keep their jobs.
“This is not a cost-savings measure, it’s a teacher-saving measure,” said David Inns, district assistant superintendent of Human Resources.
Inns said a pool of 40-or-so teachers who are within the last three years of their career are eligible for the incentive.
If 15 to 19 teachers decide to retire at the end of the school year, they’ll receive a one-time payout of $15,000. If the number who are willing to take the incentive jumps to between 20 and 29, they’ll receive a $20,000 payout. Finally, if 30 or more teachers agree to take the incentive, a $25,000 incentive will come their way.
Inns said the move would encourage older teachers to retire, thus lowering the number of layoffs that would need to come from the district’s reduction of 73 positions.
North Tahoe High School Principal Bill Frey was recognized at the meeting Wednesday for his school’s recognition as a California Distinguished School.
The award is given out to only 103 of California’s thousands of schools.
“This is something we can be very proud of as a district,” said District Superintendent Steve Jennings.
Frey said the credit went to various portions of the North Tahoe community.
“It’s a testament to the staff, students and community at North Tahoe,” Frey said. “It’s a great honor for us, but it’s also a great honor for the district, you do so much to support us.”
For information on the win, check out North Tahoe’s website at nths.ttusd.org. …
TTUSD Director of Transportation Nanette Rondeau said the district is employing a tactic used in Washoe County and at Northstar-at-Tahoe to reduce school bus emissions and increase gas mileage. A number of busses were fitted with an electrical ionizer, which Rondeau said studies showed increased fuel mileage by as much as 30 percent. She said the district is already starting to see results.