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Coachella Valley Unified School District board votes to send final layoff notices to 59 employees

Several dozen Coachella Valley Unified School District employees will be receiving final layoff notices in the coming days. It's the latest sequence of events to happen since March, when the district announced originally announced it would be slashing more than 120 jobs in a major effort to cut staff and save funds.

The final layoff notices come after the school district's Board Members voted to approve a resolution accepting a judge's finding from a 'reduction in force' hearing last month. The district previously said the layoffs were caused partly by declining enrollment, as well as some funding for temporary programs running out.

Carissa Carrera, the President of the Coachella Valley Teachers Association was at the meeting, in the hopes of bringing up things she says are vital issues about the RIF notices to the board members.

"I came and spoke at the meeting, because there were errors all over the resolution," said Carrera. "And I had tried to get those corrected before the meeting, which was unsuccessful. And so I went to the meeting to share my concerns with the board. And that kind of fell on deaf ears, I guess you could say, and they approved the resolution anyhow."

Although the RIF notices were originally handed out to 121 employees, the notices were reduced because some teachers on the list were originally supposed to be exempt. Additionally, another two dozen teachers retired.

Although Carrera is happy the number has gone down, she believes the layoffs could have been avoided altogether.

"We are losing teachers," said Carrera. "And it's something that we do all the time. And it's typically because of money mismanagement, although they usually don't say it, instead, they say that it wasn't the reason for the layoffs, but they did admit that was reason last night. The board never sees the faces of these teachers they're laying off. HR who approves this, never sees the faces, and of course the attorneys wouldn't see the faces of these people. So I don't know I think they think about it, but just kind of dismiss it because it's not real, it's not in front of them."

The final notices are expected to go out to affected employees by May 15th. The district does hope to hire back some of the teachers in the future.

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Tori King


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