The Pleasanton school board voted last night to send notices of possible layoff for 27 full-time positions, fewer than expected and even some of those could be spared if state financial aid improves.
Bill Faraghan, assistant superintendent of Human Resources, said initially 32 positions were on the list but that a closer review of budget expectations for the coming 2010-11 school year made it possible to reduce the number. The number of positions doesn't necessarily equal the number of people receiving notices, as not all are employed full time. This list also doesn't include the classified employees.
Positions on the potential chopping block include services from art, computers, science, music, world languages and more, Faraghan said.
By law, notices of possible layoffs in school districts must be sent to certified teachers by March 15, although districts have until May 15 to actually implement those layoffs.
On Tuesday night, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's board, a district that is often compared to PUSD, voted to increase class sizes and send out 136 possible layoff notices to teachers and other employees.
On another front, the deadline has past and there are 34 people vying for the top post of the Pleasanton Unified School District as current Superintendent John Casey prepares to retire June 30.
Preliminary results from trustee Valerie Arkin -- who is acting as the liaison for the district and the search firm of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. (HYA) -- showed a majority of candidates hailing from California, with no confirmation of applicants from within the district.
Early on in the process, the school board had outlined dates for feedback meetings, drafted a list of stakeholder groups for the search firm to meet with and encouraged the community to fill out feedback forms. While the two public meetings held at the district offices only attracted a handful of participants, Arkin said she there were more than 100 responses from feedback forms that were sent directly to HYA.
HYA compiled a "leadership profile" that combines the top qualities that the community requests of a future superintendent.
Some of these characteristics, according to Arkin, include a long-range planner, charismatic leader, someone who is able to take criticism, a good listener, focuses on students, is an out-of-the-box thinker, trustworthy, is approachable and is a good communicator.
As for the school board, she said they want "somebody who is dynamic, can be a visionary and can be able to work with all sorts of groups in the community."
The ability to bring people together is important as well, she said, because the community can be divided during difficult times such as these with the district facing multi-million-dollar cuts.
The board is scheduled to meet with HYA for a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, March 15 at the district office board room, located at 4665 Bernal Ave.