In a preview of what could be ahead for the Menlo Park City School District if its March 7 parcel tax measure fails, the district's governing board on Feb. 15 unanimously approved starting the layoff process for the equivalent of 30 teachers.
The board will consider additional layoff notices for non-teaching employees in March or April, Assistant Superintendent Erik Burmeister told the board.
Mr. Burmeister called the process "one of the hardest parts" of his job as head of human resources for the district.
The process for laying off employees in the teachers' union, which includes credentialed administrators and specialists, requires that notices be given by March 15, a week after the parcel tax election. The district has more flexibility in laying off non-teaching employees.
The board had asked district staff to plan for the maximum number of layoffs that might be needed to give it flexibility in deciding what positions or programs to eliminate. The list that was approved allows the board to follow through with any, or all, of the reductions on a list of cuts it had earlier considered.
Among the positions the board approved for layoff notices are the full-time equivalents of one director of curriculum and instruction, six kindergarten to fifth-grade classroom teachers, three middle school English teachers, two middle school humanities teachers, one middle school math teacher, one middle school social science teacher, two middle school science teachers, four kindergarten to eighth-grade librarians, three kindergarten to fifth-grade art teachers, two teachers on special assignment, 1.5 technology coaches, 0.33 each of middle school drama and physical education teachers, 0.5 of a Spanish teacher, 0.17 each of middle school teachers of music, art and industrial arts, and 1.5 world language teachers.
If all the layoffs were to go into effect, the district's teaching staff would be reduced by 15 percent, Mr. Burmeister said.
He said that if the parcel tax does not pass, the board will need to hold at least three special board meetings before spring break to decide what cuts to make.
Layoffs will be made by order of seniority, with the last hired being the first to be laid off.