Hart district officially lays off 24 teachers 


The William S. Hart Union High School District governing board officially approved the layoffs of 24 teachers who will no longer be employed by the district at the end of the school year. 

Of those, 15 requested hearings with the state Office of Administrative Hearings and lost, while another nine did not request a hearing. 

According to Collyn Nielsen, assistant superintendent of human resources, the district had initially sought to eliminate 53 full-time certificated positions due to a reduction of particular services, but 24 of those were rescinded following other resignations or retirements. Another 14 teachers who received layoff notices had theirs rescinded following the hearing. 

There were six teachers who were able to win their hearing and have their layoff notices rescinded. A total of 31 have had their notices rescinded since they were originally issued back in March.

The hearings were held on two separate days in April. 

Nielsen added that the district is hopeful that further resignations or retirements would allow for more teachers to have their layoffs rescinded. 

“The district makes this recommendation despite the fact that the administrative law judge did not uphold six of the district’s layoffs,” Nielsen said. “Though staff and our attorney believe the judge’s decision is erroneous in two of these instances, this conclusion alone does not seem to be worth rejecting or modifying.” 

John Minkus, president of the Hart District Teachers Association, said he is looking forward to seeing how this affects the district’s master schedule for the next school year. 

“Although HDTA as well disagrees with portions of the OAH decision, we appreciate the district’s expediency in moving on the judge’s order,” Minkus said. “At that, we implore you to complete master scheduling ASAP and retain remaining members who are hanging in the balance.” 

Board member Joe Messina acknowledged how difficult the decision was. 

“I know this is uncomfortable for us, but it’s something we have to move on,” Messina said. 

The governing board previously approved the final list of 36 classified employees who will not be retained for the next school year. 

These layoffs were part of the district’s fiscal stabilization plan that was approved by the board in January. 

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