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Beverly Hills School Board Agrees on Possible Layoffs

February 27, 1986|JOHN L. MITCHELL | Times Staff Writer

The Beverly Hills Board of Education unanimously agreed Tuesday night to send out layoff notices next month to about 45 district employees to trim more than $1.2 million from an anticipated $3-million budget deficit.

District employees scheduled to receive layoff notices include teachers, secretaries, gardeners, custodians and counselors. The cuts, considered the deepest yet, will affect the district's programs in foreign language, library services, arts, home economics, music and athletics.

School board President Frank Fenton said the decision marks the first time the district has been forced to lay off teachers to solve its fiscal problems.

Notices Not Final

Assistant Supt. Walther Puffer said the district is required by law to send the notices, but they are not final. The district can rescind them if additional money becomes available before the start of the 1986-87 school year in September.

Employees selected to receive layoff notices this week were drawn from a list of potential cuts proposed last month.

Supt. Leon Lessinger originally asked the board to consider cutting the district's staff by up to 90 positions, but he reduced the number of potential layoffs after the Beverly Hills Education Foundation agreed to donate $1.5 million to ease the district's financial crisis.

School board member Mark Egerman said the donation bought the district some extra time. But if additional funds are not raised, he said, the district will be faced with a list of cuts three times as long.

'Up to the Community'

Fenton said it is now "up to the community to come forward with some ideas" on how to raise money to avoid deeper cuts.

Fenton said the board's decision was made in response to the feelings expressed by residents at two public forums and in other gatherings to discuss the district's budget crisis.

He described the cuts as a "Band-Aid solution, not a cure." The district is looking at other ways of raising money, including a new tax on each parcel of land in the city.

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