LTUSD teacher layoffsworse than expected |

LTUSD teacher layoffsworse than expected

Seventeen teachers could be given pink slips next month as Lake Tahoe Unified School District officials grapple with this year’s round of layoffs because of declining enrollment.

The district’s five-member school board will discuss, and possibly take action on, recommendations on staffing levels from Superintendent James Tarwater and Human Resource Director Beth Delacour.

Projections indicate that at the end of this school year the district will experience a decrease of 200 students. In September, the enrollment was listed at 4,544 students.

Late last month Tarwater said eight teachers – four at the elementary level, two at the middle school and two at the high school – would have to be let go. It was due to the midyear decrease of 112 students and didn’t account for the anticipated total loss of 200 students, he said.

The number of 17 teachers, which Tarwater believes will be the limit, is broken down to eight from elementary, four from the middle school and four from the high school. A teacher coming back from a leave of absence is the other, Tarwater said.

Delacour said the addition of all-day kindergarten would cut the number of layoffs by four or five at the elementary level. But since all-day kindergarten is an item that needs to be negotiated between the district and teachers union, it is unknown whether it will be a reality next school year.

Tarwater hopes to have a decision on all-day kindergarten before Feb. 14.

Another factor that could lessen the number of layoffs is the number of retirements.

For Tarwater, who was hired by the district last summer after 12 years as the head of Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, it is the first time he has had to layoff staff because of declining enrollment.

“This is one of those things that evolves,” he said. “We’re trying to make the best decisions possible and project as best as we can.”

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