Final list of layoffs for Hart district classified employees approved 


The final list of 36 William S. Hart Union High School District classified employees who are set to be laid off at the end of the school year was approved at Wednesday’s governing board meeting. 

The layoffs are part of the district’s fiscal stabilization plan that was approved in January to help get the district’s finances back in check. The Los Angeles County Office of Education directed the district to create the plan following drops in attendance over multiple years and reports of projected declines in enrollment. 

According to Collyn Nielsen, assistant superintendent of human resources, the final list was determined after the district received either resignation or retirement notices that gave district staff a better idea of just how many employees would need to receive layoff notices. Those notices were sent out prior to March 15, as required by law. 

Two employees requested hearings to fight against their layoff notices, Nielsen said, but one withdrew the request and the other had the notice rescinded after additional resignations and retirements. 

Both board President Linda Storli and board member Cherise Moore said they would approve the list, “but with regret.” 

Board member Joe Messina wondered if the district could continue to rescind the layoff notices prior to June 30 should the district be able to find the funding for those positions. Nielsen said that is possible, and those people could also be rehired after their employment is terminated without losing benefits or seniority, so long as that happens within 39 months. 

“I’m not trying to give anybody false hope, but we’re still waiting on the May revise,” Messina said, referring to Gov. Gavin Newsom updating the state’s budget projections in May for 2025. 

The January budget proposal from Newsom’s office indicated that the cost-of-living adjustment that all school districts receive would drop considerably from an all-time high of 8.22% for the current school year. Districts initially believed that the COLA would be 3.94% for next year, but the January update had it at 0.76%. 

According to Ralph Peschek, assistant superintendent of business services, that change represents a $30 million decrease in funding for the upcoming school year. 

In total, the state is looking at a $37.9 billion budget shortfall, due mainly to tax collections in 2022 being well below assumptions, Peschek said. 

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