The Bear Valley Unified School District has ratified contracts with both BVEA and CSEA, the certificated and classified staff unions, that will allow the district to rescind $130,000 in cuts that were to be implemented in the 2009/2010 school year—these cuts, approved by the Board of Trustees in February, were the result of budget cuts that start at the state level. This was achieved, says the district’s Director of Personnel Tim Larson, because classified employees agreed to a 1% pay cut; this will affect all classified employees, which includes aides, clerical staff, bus drivers and maintenance personnel, but will result in the retention of these positions at the district’s seven school sites. The teacher’s union, BVEA, also agreed to a 1% cut to retain jobs and programs, though this will be structured in a different way, via a furlough day, as well as an half-year freeze on teachers’ step and column increases (which applies to additional educational units and longevity) for three years. BVUSD management also took a 1% cut, across the board and, as Larson explains to KBHR, “As a result of the negotiated agreements between CSEA and BVEA, the budget cuts which had been adopted earlier in the year were rescinded at the last board meeting. Still, there are nine layoff notices that are still active, but we are down from 18. Based on the current budget information, the nine teacher layoffs will remain in effect until we receive improved budget news.” Of the 18 teachers who received pink slips in March, nine of those positions have been reinstated; the remaining nine, determined based on lesser seniority and applicable teaching credentials, are, per Larson, a function of staffing ratios to meet instructional needs throughout the district. The school district’s ongoing declining enrollment is a contributor to this financial uncertainty; this school year, BVUSD received ADA for 3,023 students, whereas this number was 3,089 in the 2007/2008 school year. As for the school district’s superintendent position, which Carole Ferraud will vacate in September, Larson says, “The search is just starting, and there is a consultant from the County who will be assisting in the entire process.” And in other news from BVUSD, employees of the year were recognized this week; Big Bear Elementary TRAC coach Sharon Knapik was named Certificated Employee of the Year, and the Classified Employee of the Year honor went to Linda Oymaian, who oversees payroll for BVUSD.
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