Tracy Unified to lay off teachers
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
May 10, 2013 | 6726 views | 16 16 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tracy Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted Wednesday, May 8, to lay off 16 teachers and one principal.

The decision was made during a special board meeting at the district office at 1875 W. Lowell Ave.

Board President Greg Silva said the staff cuts were the result of the district predicting fewer students in the 2013-14 school year.

“We have less students in the district, so there is less need for personnel,” he said. “We’re still deficit spending, so we’re looking to consolidate and make the staff as efficient as possible with less money coming in.”

District officials expect to have 100 fewer students in the next school year, according to Casey Goodall, assistant superintendent for business services for TUSD.  He said the decline in enrollment translates into a $550,000 loss, as the state allocates $5,500 per student to the district.

Goodall said the district has lost about 100 students annually for the past five years, but he did not have a definitive reason for the loss.

On the layoff list are seven teachers and one principal with tenure — having worked a minimum of three years for the district. There are also nine teachers who were on probation — fewer than three years on the job.

The initial proposal was to lay off the equivalent of 20.8 certificated employees, which was approved by the school board Feb. 26.

On March 13, district officials finalized the list and sent letters to put those employees on notice. Out of the original 20.8, 19 requested a review hearing.

On April 30, administrative law judge Ann Elizabeth Sarli ruled to uphold the board’s decision.

Because the district must send final layoff notices by May 15, district officials said a special meeting was necessary.

“I’m never happy about sending those letters out,” Silva said. “(Loss of teachers) is not good for the district. But it is a business, and unfortunately we have to let the teachers go.”

The only resident who attended the meeting was John Anderson, president of the Tracy Educators Association.

Anderson said he received notification about the special meeting Wednesday afternoon, so he didn’t have time to notify the employees involved.

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “Based on my understanding of enrollment projections and budget, does it warrant layoffs? It doesn’t seem the enrollment projections are down enough.”

 A similar situation occurred last year, and nearly all of those teachers were hired back before the start of the school year. Anderson hopes the same will be true this time.

“Disappointment is the word, with hope they will rehire as many as possible,” he said.

According to Sheila Harrison, assistant superintendent of educational services and human resources for TUSD, rehiring the laid-off teachers would depend on “student enrollment, staff allocations, teacher retirements and teacher resignations.”

“These are very difficult decisions for the district,” she said. “It’s no one’s first choice to lay anyone off.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments
(16)
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DCParent
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May 17, 2013
Check out Delta Charter School. They offer many options for personalized learning from site based to all online. Have graduates attending UC Berkeley and numerous other colleges. Plus they offer sports and just built a beautiful new gym.
TracyMom4
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May 16, 2013
@Shelly13 All Tracy school's are alright. You are right about Mrs. Ahuja though. She is a waste of money and some of the counsellors are pretty bad too. They encourage the kids to aim low and they do not really spend the time to get to know the kids. If you want your child to go to college, you are better off researching on your own!

As for West High & Kimball, the AP program is great. Tracy's IB program is a waste of time because they have to take an extra class at 7 am every other day. Often times, those classes are not even credit worthy unlike the AP classes (when you pass them). Yes, you may be a well rounded individually but I thought, that's what you're paying the big bucks in college?

There are some teachers that really needs to go but I suggest they start looking at the ones who shouldn't be teaching anymore. I hate the fact that when they start laying off teachers, they look at tenure and get rid of the ones that are truly excited about teaching.

TUSD is one big conspiracy. All the district folks were all principals at in one of the high-schools ... they cover for each other. You don't want a pink slip? You better start figuring out if you're with the right crowd.

Ohiogirlatheart
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May 19, 2013
Sounds like some sour grapes. You are a moron.
shelly13
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May 19, 2013
I know there are many teachers that need to be replaced. But i also know many parents who think they can do a teachers job at home bite off more than they can chew and are not qualified to do the job. Though school ia for educating our kida in reading, math....it is also a place to learn socialization. You cannot learn that at home. As for the IB program, we did it and no we did not have to go to class any day for zero period at 7am and the testing counted a college units.
TracyMom4
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May 20, 2013
@Shelly13 Personally, I don't believe in home schooling because just like you I think kids needs to be exposed to the real world, society, etc.

My youngest is currently attending KHS but my first 3 attended THS, and one at WHS for 2 years. I stand corrected with the 7am class for IB, my son informed me that only IB diploma take an extra class called TOK. They take that class during their junior and senior year.

AP just in general in the US is more recognized versus IB. The transfers of IB classes/exams within the UC system is a lot straightforward = if you score 30 you will receive 20 sem. units towards your degree. But when you look at private colleges or Ivies, AP transfers are a lot more straightforward and considers more subjects than IB.

My point here is that there shouldn't be reasons why some kids are still trying to fulfill their PE grad requirements senior year or teachers telling their life stories during the class, AP's yapping on the phone constantly. Let's face it, there are some dimwits out there who have avoided the axe. The idea of tenure = guaranteed life-long employment is total BS to me. I love educators but dislike the ones who have given up on educating.
Seek_the_Truth
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May 14, 2013
The truth is....the POPULATION of Tracy is NOT going down. There are fewer enrolled students at TUSD because more students are being enrolled in home school, private and charter schools.

Have you visited the TUSD offices lately?? EVERYONE has a secretary. Even the secretaries have secretaries. Its about time the district is run like a company who is in business to educate children and not self-serving their CalPERS.
MrSycamore
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May 12, 2013
The reason why the TUSD are losing students is because people are leaving Tracy. :(
walkingtall
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May 11, 2013
Typically run school district. To many chiefs, and not enough indians!! The Salaries of these administrators is way to high. I deal with schools districts all over the Bay Area and the real truth to it all is that these schools districts are mismanaged. I laugh when they say they have no money. Do not believe this for a minute. They purchase items for the schools based on who there friends in the various business are, not based on price and service. It's all about the buddy system!!
doorsc
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May 11, 2013
This is typical of TUSD. Why don't they fire one of their white elephants like Paul Hall instead of letting go of teachers who make less than half of what some of these administrators do? Why doesn't Franco and his henchman take a salary cut to support already poorly paid teachers instead of firing them?TUSD is a pack of lies.


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