Clovis News

More than 500 Valley teachers get layoff notices

More than 500 Fresno County teachers received layoff notices as of Tuesday -- the deadline for notifying them that their jobs are in jeopardy for the upcoming school year.

Most local teachers receiving notices work for Fresno Unified School District, which could be dealing with up to a $71 million shortfall from its $625 million general fund budget due to state budget cuts.

The district delivered 257 notices to tenured teachers whose jobs could be cut and another 73 notices to temporary teachers. Temporary teachers aren't subject to the March 15 notice deadline.

Madera Unified sent out 165 notices. A district spokesman said the 122 notices to temporary and probationary teachers is "precautionary" with the hope that none of the teachers would actually lose their jobs. However, 43 teachers in Madera will likely lose their jobs to program eliminations that have nothing to do with state budget cuts, spokesman Jake Bragonier said.

Central, Clovis, Sanger and Visalia unified school districts didn't send layoff notices but trimmed their budgets in other ways.

Statewide, school districts have issued at least 19,000 layoff notices to teachers and other school employees amid heightened uncertainty over the state budget, said the California Teachers Association.

The union predicted the number will climb to 20,000 when they have a more complete count by week's end.

Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for closing the state's nearly $27 billion budget deficit seeks to maintain current K-12 spending levels by asking voters to extend temporary increases in the sales, personal income and vehicle taxes for five years.

Districts have until mid-May to finalize or rescind the layoffs.