Faced with a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall, the governing board of the Lancaster School District voted Thursday night to send layoff notices to about 145 of its employees.
The 4-1 decision by the district's board of trustees affects a wide range of hourly wage and part-time school employees, including 117 instructional aides and various health and library employees and school clerks. District officials blamed Gov. Pete Wilson's proposed state budget, which is causing similar problems for school districts statewide.
Under state law, the district had to issue the notices this week--30 days before the end of the school year--to be able to lay off any of the employees before the start of the new school year. Once the state budget is adopted, school officials will decide whether to carry out the layoffs.
The Lancaster district, with 14 schools and 11,300 students, is projecting a $2.4- million deficit in its $40 million-plus budget. School officials had no immediate estimate of the amount that layoffs would save.
The school board earlier this week voted to eliminate the jobs of two music teachers, seven school nurses, three psychologists and three vice principals, cuts that are expected to save about $600,000. The district had given them the same type of layoff notices in late March.
When the district was caught in a budget crunch last spring, it took a similar step before the finalizing of the state budget, issuing layoff notices to about 110 of its 160 part-time instructional aides. This fall, however, with its funding outlook improved, the district hired back about 80.
District officials said the outcome this year again will depend on the final school-funding package adopted by state lawmakers and Gov. Wilson. Wilson's budget proposal this year contained no cost-of-living increases for district employees and cut state funding for school programs.