School Board approves layoffs at Bess Maxwell Elementary

Written by Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate December 17, 2012 05:49 pm

School Board members approved the layoffs of two part-time school activity monitors at Bess Maxwell Elementary School on Thursday.

The positions were being budgeted out of restricted funds that were intended for another purpose, according to Pamela Holloway, the district’s director of personnel. There is no more funding available for those positions, she said.

The restricted funds were supposed to be used for instruction, said Deputy Superintendent Rodney Jahn.

Board members voted 3-2 in favor of laying off the two student activity monitors. Jennifer England and the newly elected Judie Cordts dissented.

Bess Maxwell, which has 270 students, has spent most of its working budget on personnel, said Superintendent Don Olson. It has more classified personnel than Redwood School even though its student population is smaller. But Bess Maxwell can’t afford the number of classified employees it has with its budget, Olson said. 

Olson said one of the employees may be able to move to Crescent Elk Middle School. Eliminating the positions will result in a savings of about $8,200 for the remainder of the school year.

According to Bess Maxwell Principal William Einman, funding the five classified positions at the school would have cost $57,000 in unrestricted funding. The school only has $48,000 for classified personnel, he said.

“The work was being done by two wonderful monitors,” Einman said. “We hate to lose them. I’ve spoken with teaching staff to cover the work that needs to be done. This isn’t an easy situation.”

During public comment, Patti Rommel, a local California School Employees Association representative, said Bess Maxwell has more classified personnel because it serves more students with special needs. She also said with voters passing Proposition 30, CSEA representatives at the state level anticipate changes that will affect funding for education. 

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