More layoffs coming to Mt. Diablo schools

The Mount Diablo School District voted on Tuesday t to send out lay-off notices.

March 8, 2011 11:28:51 PM PST
Money trouble means tough news for more than 150 teachers in the East Bay. The Mount Diablo School District voted on Tuesday t to send out lay-off notices.

Layoff notices could be going out in the next week to 180 employees. Parents also heard about the potential for some dire cuts if a tax extension doesn't get on the June ballot or is not approved by voters and that includes the possibility of cutting five to six weeks out of the school year which means school may start in October.

Parents and students came fired up hoping to keep teachers on the job and schools open. They did not leave satisfied. The Mt. Diablo school board voted to authorize sending out layoff notices to 180 employees including 33 music teachers, 28 high school teachers, 27 teachers at elementary schools and 20 in the library media department.

"There is absolutely no way to run the district. Five days have been cut to 175 and they have already cut the permission. I think that there will be a shell that's called education, but there won't be an education," Michael Langley from the Mt. Diablo Education Association said.

The school district is trying to close a $22 million deficit made worse by declining enrollment, and rising employee salaries and health care costs. The board recently decided to close Holbrook Elementary School next year, a decision that parents and students tried to reverse on Tuesday night.

I refuse to stand behind a board that treats my children as if they are petty cash, and I as un-intelligent and disposable," parent Kelly Van Boekhout said,

"That would be sad for me because I really wouldn't want to leave Holbrook," student Sierra Ballou said.

One board member suggested even more schools might have to be closed. The layoff notices have to go out by next week. It doesn't necessarily mean all those employees would be let go, but the district has to decide my may which employees would be laid off and that would be based on seniority.

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