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Organization: Newhall School District
Date: May 13, 2009
Newhall School District Rescinds All Remaining Layoff Notices
Federal Stabilization Dollars Were Deciding Factor
Santa Clarita, CA. — The Governing Board of the Newhall School District rescinded all remaining lay off/reassignment notices at their special meeting last night, including notices given to music teachers, counselors, PE teachers, and a visual arts teacher.
    These specialists' programs had been on the list of programs to be considered for further reduction in a deepening state budget crisis. If notices were rescinded prematurely the option to reduce the programs in 2009-10 would have been closed off. The board had previously rescinded all classroom teacher notices due to expected attrition and a successful retirement incentive program.
    The administration of the district was waiting to find out the level of support they could expect from the non-categorical federal stimulus money, or what is called the "stabilization" fund. Last Saturday morning — a scant six days before the statutory lay off deadline — the California Department of Education released preliminary information for individual school districts and NSD's share, over $1.7 million for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, was enough to allow the administration to make the recommendation to rescind the remaining notices.
    "$1.7 million is a lot of money and we welcome it to help save our programs," said Mike McGrath, Board president, "But the larger unknown concern is the impact of the deepening state budget crisis, the potential failure of the state's budget propositions in May, and the budget cuts that may still be looming in our future. The large budget cuts we have made to date will remain in place and the federal stabilization funding will be held to shield the budget against further state revenue reductions."
    The district's "plan B" budget reduction list still contains some drastic reductions, should they become necessary. However, for the moment, given recent actions of the Board that resulted in saving jobs and preserving programs, the district intends to run its 2009-10 core program with slightly larger primary classrooms and all the music, visual arts, counseling and physical education programs that make NSD the successful district that it is.
    Superintendent Marc Winger added, "Whether our adopted budget for 2009-10 becomes a work of fiction or not because of further cuts that may have to be made remains to be seen in the late spring, summer, or fall of the new school year."
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