The news is welcome, said Glendale Teachers Assn. President Tami Carlson, but added the Board of Education could go further.
“It’s best for the students,” she said.
In March, the Board of Education voted 4 to 1 to increase class size in kindergarten through third grade up from 20 to 30 students. Increasing class size would put teachers out of work, and the district initially distributed 105 pink slips. Larger class sizes, officials said, would save the school district $10 million from an $18.5-million projected deficit by 2011-12.
Many teachers remain concerned about the Board of Education’s decision to increase class size, Carlson said.
“Our concerns are still the same about our kindergarten through third[-grade] students, and we feel that until most if not all the [pink slips] are rescinded, their educational foundation is at risk,” she said.
District officials said they still expect 50 to 71 layoffs. The initial number was deliberately high to give board members flexibility, said Greg Krikorian, Board of Education president.
“The 105 is just a number we were working with,” he said. “This has been an integral part of our board, to get the true, factual information with the present status of layoffs.”
District officials said more teacher jobs will be saved if the Glendale Teachers Assn. membership ratifies a tentative agreement that saves the district about $12 million during a three-year period. Voting is scheduled for Monday through May 26. If approved, teachers would agree to unpaid furlough days as well as providing a larger contribution of health-care costs.
“The more we work together, and if the contract is ratified, we’ll have more opportunities to save jobs,” Krikorian said.
Garcia said the tentative contract is part of the district’s solution to its structural deficit.
“It’s part of the equation to the extent that it let’s us understand the long-term financial picture much better,” he said. “We’re hopeful it will be ratified by the membership, but if it doesn’t, then obviously we have to revaluate the situation.”