Ten teaching positions axed for now

The Hermosa Beach City School Board has moved to ax 10 full-time teaching positions at the beginning of the next school year, unless more money is found to save the positions.

For several years running, the school board has handed formal layoff notices to teachers in the spring, to meet a state-mandated deadline. Then, each year so far, parents and other community members have managed to forestall most of the cuts by raising as much as $1.5 million, covering about 10 percent of the schools’ operating budgets.

The layoff notices approved by the board last week cover seven full-time teachers and numerous part-time positions whose hours are equal to three more full-time positions. The cuts would save about $500,000.

The layoffs were approved by a 4-1 vote with Board President Lisa Claypoole dissenting, who objected most strenuously to the elimination of the technology director’s position.

On the chopping block for next year are seven full-time kindergarten-through-fifth grade teaching positions, one full-time science teaching position, a half-time middle school art teaching position, a half-time middle school technology teaching position, and part-time teaching positions in computer skills, global studies, Spanish, speech, reading, technology and life skills.

Previously, layoff notices for the current school year were mostly withdrawn when more money was found. The school board cut, and later restored, programs including physical education, middle school enrichment classes, a third-through-fifth-grade science lab position, a technology director, and a secretary at Hermosa Valley School.

But educators axed both schools’ music programs, cut the hours of library aides at both schools, and made cuts in a class-size reduction program for early grades. That program, which partially subsidizes some teacher salaries, used to ensure no more than 20 students per class in kindergarten through third grade. With the cuts, the number of students per class rises to 25. ER

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