BUSD School Board Rescinds Lay-Offs of Teachers

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday June 13, 2008 - 01:04:00 PM

The Berkeley Unified School District announced this week that all teachers who received lay-off notices as a result of proposed education budget cuts will be able to keep their jobs. 

All certificated staff have been brought back, Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources Lisa Udell said, and only two Berkeley High School counselors remain on the potential lay-off list. 

The school board on Wednesday unanimously approved district superintendent Bill Huyett’s budget reduction proposal, which anticipated a loss of $2.9 million in general fund revenue and program reductions to cover increased costs for 2008-2009. 

The district administrationer recommended a $2.4 million cut from the unrestricted general fund budget and programs. 

The superintendent’s budget reduction proposal was based on recommendations from district staff and his Budget Advisory Committee, which was formed in March to provide feedback on budget cuts. 

The superintendent’s proposed list of budget reductions include cutting $700,000 from the special education program, including transportation.  

Strategies suggested to meet these cuts include reducing non-public school placements by providing a greater continuum of services in the district, reducing the number of instructional aides at specific schools and reducing transportation costs by slashing the number of non-public school placements. 

“Despite the cuts we are making, we are not touching music and arts and libraries thanks to local parcel taxes,” said school board president John Selawsky. 

A number of classified employees are still on the potential lay-off list. Udell said she would be able to comment on their status after June 30. The board is scheduled to approve the 2008-2009 budget on June 25.