By Mario Conde
The Calexico School Board brings back 27 teachers for the upcoming school year at their special meeting held last week.
The Calexico School Board voted two months ago to layoff the 80 plus teachers in order to solve a $6 million dollar deficit and avoid a possible State takeover. The cuts will put the District’s finances solvent for the next three years. The layoff teachers were subsequently placed on the District’s reemployment list.
It was by the direction of the Board at a previous meeting to bring back some teachers in order to avoid large class sizes because of the lack of teachers. Superintendent Richard Fragale originally asked to reinstate 25 teachers but asked to increase it 27 since they found additional funds to bring back two more. Fragale also announced that the Imperial County Office of Education approved the CUSD budget thus avoiding the State takeover.
Trustee Joong Kim said that they needed more teachers to comeback since having 83 layoff teachers will affect the education of the Students. He cited that there were 11 teachers retired and therefore they should rehire more people. Human Resources director Teresa Estrada said that the teachers that will be brought back will be based on their credentials and seniority.
Board President Ruth Duarte said that they need to be careful and not affect their budget.
“We need to be very careful that we don’t end up like every other year where we lay off 80 and bring back 80 because then all the struggles we went through last year we did for nothing because we’re going to end up in the same red line again,” she said.
The Board also voted to bring back the Preschool program for the 2012-13 school years. The annual cost to the District to run the preschool program is estimated at $351,639 and since the District will receive an estimated $302,390 from the State specifically for the District’s preschool program the deficit amount between the cost to run the preschool program and the State appointment will be $49,249.
Fragale said the deficit amount will be funded from Title I funds and flexible Tier III money formerly generate by the Adult school program. The three laid off preschool teachers will be brought back before the beginning of the new school year.