State Budget Crisis Hits TCUSD Hard

During their February 13th meeting, the Board of Education confirmed its decision to not renew Dr. Joan Hillard’s contract as Superintendent of Temple City Unified School District when it expires on June 30, 2008.

Board members Robert Ridley, Janet Rhee, Rachel LaSota, and Joe Walker voted against extending Hillard’s contract. Board member Matt Smith cast the sole dissenting vote.

“After much consideration, [we have] determined not to renew Dr. Joan Hillard’s contract… we appreciate the thoughtful input that District employees, parents, and other members of our community provided to assist the Board in making this difficult and important decision” stated the Board.

Some citizens of the TCUSD disapproved of the decision, stating that Dr. Hillard “…updates the city frequently. The Board members want change in our city, but don’t know where to get it… this is a major disappointment to [us].”

The Board of Education is currently in the process of searching for a new Superintendent. Proposals are being sent out.

The nine-year Superintendent continues to serve loyally to the TCUSD for the remainder of her term. The Board has not disclosed information on why they have dismissed her.

Aside from searching for a replacement Superintendent, the budget for the TCUSD has become an issue.

The Board also proposed a reduction of $3,016,724 for the Temple City Unified School District. They plan to hire a Chinese translator, a certificated staff in special education, a K-6 physical education specialist, and increase substitute salaries per day from $100 to $115.

Some suggestions have been made in order to help the reductions, such as increasing class sizes in grades 4-12, reducing teachers in grades K-3, and reduce purchasing supplies by 25%. Those three ideas alone will save about $638,000.

Laying off teachers through the district seems to be a necessity. The Board is preparing to lay off teachers in order to continue the budget cuts. “We are laying off the position, not the person” explained the Board.

“The Notice of Termination” will be sent to all temporary teacher positions and teacher interns. The Board has said that teachers that decide to retire or leave the school district may prevent other teachers from being laid off.

 

This article was written by Jessilyn Chwa. It was published in the Temple City Voice on February 27, 2008.

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