Tahoe Truckee school district to talk about ‘unlikely’ layoffs | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Truckee school district to talk about ‘unlikely’ layoffs

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

Sun File PhotoTTUSD Superintendent Steve Jennings said the 22 layoffs are "very, very unlikely."

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – School district officials will attempt this week to reaffirm a notion that it is “very unlikely” 22 employees will be laid off this year to shore up a potential $1 million funding shortfall.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District last week announced the potential layoffs in response to the California Department of Education rejecting a TTUSD consolidated application request for more than $1 million in funding, a decision stemming from a uniform complaint filed by Truckee parents of English Learner students to the state department.

Parents filed the complaint, said TTUSD Superintendent Steve Jennings, because they feel the district had not provided them sufficient communication, or allowed them sufficient input in the design of things such as its EL Master Plan and the EL waiver program.

Jennings said the district hired an outside investigator who completed a report to CDE substantiating the district’s claim to providing communication to the parents. Since then, Truckee parents appealed to the CDE for further investigation, Jennings said.

The complaint has a “very, very unlikely chance” to hold up more than $1 million in yearly state funding, Jennings said; however, should the possibility occur, Jennings said school EL coordinators and the district-wide EL coordinator position would be considered first for layoffs.

Jennings said Wednesday’s board meeting will reinforce facts from the previous meeting and also allow trustees to respond to questions from the public and the Tahoe Truckee Education Association, the local teacher’s union.

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“It’s just going to be a brief update from (TTUSD Finance Director) Steve Dickinson on where we are,” said Jennings.

The public portion of Wednesday’s board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Truckee Sierra Mountain Community Education Center.

Trustees on Wednesday also will look at a proposal to reinstate the North Tahoe Jazz Band as an official class at North Tahoe High School.

Parents of the North Tahoe Jazz Band students have submitted a proposal to raise the just-under $15,000 needed to reinstate the program for the district’s 2009-10 fiscal year.

The money will go to pay the teacher salary for Dean Nordby, former NTHS Jazz Band teacher.

In their proposal, parents said they’ve raised $7,000 through a donation from the North Tahoe High School Fan Club reserve account and are pledging to raise the remaining $7,000 balance soon.

According to the proposal, Nordby said he’d donate $2,000 back to the fan club to support the program, which was discontinued last year.

Jennings said he helped organize the agenda so the board could take action if it wishes.

“I know that everybody really wants to see the program go,” he said.