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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

SGUSD to cut 18 positions

By Kaylee Chan | Editor-in-Chief

On March 8, the San Gabriel Unified School District Governing Board announced a resolution to eliminate 18 full-time positions for the 2022-2023 school year, citing losses in district funding.

   At Gabrielino High School, four teaching positions will be eliminated, including one from each of the English, Social Studies, Spanish, and Physical Education departments. Across the district, three assistant principal positions will be cut, at least one coming from Gabrielino.

   At the elementary schools, nine teaching positions will be eliminated, as well as two part-time intervention positions and two sixth grade teacher positions.

   The number of staff cuts was determined by factors such as possible staff retirements and projected course demand for the upcoming school year.

   The main reason for eliminating positions is a decrease in state funding. California funds schools based on the number of students enrolled at each site. For Gabrielino, the student population has decreased by over 300 students in the last six years.

   “Our district has been spending more money than we [have been] receiving from the state for the last several years,” stated Ross Perry, assistant superintendent of human resources. 

   “Staffing is a large percentage of the district budget, so reductions will need to be in that area to keep the district financially solvent,” he added.

   According to Perry, the staff reductions have not yet been  finalized, as the state budget proposal in May might grant schools the funding necessary to reinstate positions. However, if funding does not increase, SGUSD will move forward with its staff reduction plans. 

   The loss of staff will result in larger class sizes, but none will go over the maximum of 36 students. Additionally, no programs will be eliminated as a result of the cuts, according to Gabrielino Principal David Rynkiewicz.

  “we’re going to continue the same programs. We’re going to still offer the same opportunities for students,” Rynkiewicz stated.

    The announcement came as a surprise to some Gabrielino teachers, who were informed of the decision via a list of Board action items a few days before the cuts were formally confirmed.

   “To me, it was unexpected,” stated Xenia Rivera, department chair of World Languages. “No one knew until someone had the idea of looking into the notes [for] the board meeting.”

   Teachers in the departments affected by the cuts will likely take on more students next year. 

  Marcus Andrade, chair of the Social Studies department, stated, “I don’t mind doing extra work, but it’s really unfortunate that they [are releasing] an individual in our department.”

   The San Gabriel Teachers’ Association (SGTA) has been negotiating contracts with the district and a budget committee composed of teachers and parents was also formed to discuss ways for the district to save money.

   “As a union member and a union person […] we understand that some of these things have to happen. , but you know, what else can we do? Because it’s always easier to say, ‘Well, the biggest portion comes from people so people need to go,’” stated SGTA member and science teacher Chanda Strom. “So we advocate, and we let our voices be heard in the union, just to help our cause and also to be able to hopefully make things better.”

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SGUSD to cut 18 positions