Orange County School District Layoff Updates: Westminster School District And Garden Grove Unified School District Are Not Announcing Any Job Cuts While Los Alamitos Unified School District Says Up To 100 Teachers May Lose Jobs

 LOS ALAMITOS– One hundred teachers may lose their jobs as school officials look to offset a $5.6 million budget deficit prompted by the state’s grim financial status.The district will hand out 100 pink slips to teachers by Sunday, officials said. The slips do not guarantee that teachers will lose their jobs but it warns them of the possibility.

The district is researching possible budget relief measures that could restore some program and personnel cuts, officials said.

Los Alamitos Unified School District serves about 9,400 students in 10 schools in Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Seal Beach.

School board members have approved $618,000 in cuts to its current $88 million budget and $4 million in reductions to its 2009-10 budget, school officials said.

WESTMINSTER – The school district will not lay off any teachers, but will most likely make the cuts with its temporary teaching staff, officials said.

The Westminster School District cut $3.4 million from its $80 million budget last year in anticipation of the state budget crisis, said district spokeswoman Trish Montgomery. The district also reduced its categorical budgets by 6.5 percent or $500,000, she said.

“We are not planning on laying off any teachers,” Montgomery said. However, the district usually hired about 75 temporary teachers each year, which may change, she said.

“We’re hoping not to lose all of them,” Montgomery said.

GARDEN GROVE — The school district, despite a severe budget deficit, will try not to eliminate teaching positions, officials said.

“We have not nor do we plan to send out any layoff notices to our teachers,” said Alan Trudell, spokesman for the school district. “We’re trying not to cut people, but we are cutting positions.”

The district will also need to scale back on several programs considering the projected $62 million budget shortfall over the next three years, Trudell said.

“That means we’ll be scaling back summer school as well as eliminating most conference attendance,” he said.

The district has also negotiated its teacher-to-student ratio from 29.1 to 31.1 beginning the next school year, Trudell said. But the district will still preserve the 20-to-1 class sizes in grades one, two, three and kinder-1 combination classes.


(From OC Register articles….)


Orange County Students Benefit Academically In Kindergarten Through Eighth-Grade Schools Which Bring Continuity And Lower Rates Of “Suspensions And Expulsions”

A 2004 study by the RAND Corp. suggested that converting all schools to kindergarten through eighth-grade campuses would lead to higher test scores and less misconduct.

Students tend to feel less attached to the traditional middle school model because they know they won’t be there for more than two or three years, the study concluded. Having students stay at a school longer helps create stronger relationships between the students and the school.

And when conduct issues rise, academic success plummets. The Register middle school report shows that 25 of the 29 schools earning medals rank in the top half of schools with the fewest suspensions and expulsions. Nineteen of the 21 schools with the highest rates of suspensions and expulsions failed to earn a medal.


(Excerpts from OC Register Article)

Other studies have linked drops in test scores among adolescents to less time spent reading, having more overall independence, and a decrease in parental involvement in students’ education.

“Middle schools are key to the development of students,” said county Superintendent William Habermehl. “Children often begin to form their identity as students with the variety of new classes and freedom they are given. It’s the first time much of the responsibility for learning falls on their shoulders.”

Orange County’s middle school students also outperform local elementary students in English, 58 percent to 56 percent, but the younger students take the lead in many other categories

The average API score for the county’s middle schools is 810; elementary schools average 817. Math scores also drop – 53 percent for middle schools, 63 percent for elementary. And among English learners, elementary school students outperform their older colleagues by 10 to 18 percentage points.

One place where middle schools score higher? Suspensions and expulsions, at an average of 13 per 100 students compared with two for elementary schools.