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Pink slipping a painful process for school board

By: R. Jan Pinney RJUHSD board president
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The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District, serving 10,000 teenagers and their parents at Granite Bay, Roseville, Oakmont, Adelante, Woodcreek, Independence and Antelope high schools, voted at their March 2 meeting to eliminate 31.5 certificated positions in the district. Teachers, counselors, librarians, assistant principals, athletic directors and support staff will be affected. Approximately 45 “pink slips” will be issued alerting staff to the potential that they will not have a job for the 2010 – 2011 school year. This was a horribly painful action, affecting real lives of people we all know and care about. The board was also presented with proposed budget reductions of $3.9 million and still faces an additional budget deficit of $1.6 million next year. These cuts are on top of a number of cuts in programs and personnel over the last two years and a projected $7.7 million deficit for the current school year. As bleak as the situation is it would be far worse if the district wasn’t operated in a fiscally conservative manner and hadn’t set aside reserves that are helping us through these troubling budgetary times. In the months ahead our district will be choosing between furlough days or larger class sizes and teacher job cuts, or salary reductions. And the situation could get worse if the economy and tax receipts continue to suffer. Despite the bad economic news, the district continues to focus on superior student learning. We have experienced improved results across the board and anticipate being able to continue in that vein. Our International Baccalaureate Program is off to a great start at both Granite Bay and Oakmont high schools and Advanced Placement classes continue to expand at each of our comprehensive high schools in both class offerings and numbers of students availing themselves of the AP opportunity. We’re also making progress with those students who are most at risk with special credit recovery strategies. We are proud of our team of professionals who continue to focus on providing the best educational opportunities for our kids despite unprecedented economic challenges. R. Jan Pinney is president of the Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District.