The $3.1 million that Brentwood Union School District has pared from next year's budget hasn't spared employees.

Trustees recently notified all 28 of the district's temporary certificated employees that they might get their walking papers at the end of this school year. Principals at their respective sites delivered the bad news March 4.

They are considered temporary employees because they're filling in for classroom teachers who are on leave or working on special projects.

Among those who might be laid off are counselors, and music and special education teachers.

In addition, the school board decided to issue pink slips to four probationary employees with teaching certificates -- two counselors and two psychologists -- as well as one counselor who has permanent status.

The layoffs are assured unless Brentwood Union receives more money, in which case trustees might decide to restore the positions.

The school district also notified all 10 of its vice principals that they might be reassigned later this spring.

As for classified employees -- those who don't hold teaching certificates -- 31 full- and part-time workers received a heads-up that they might not be returning in 2008-09.

Their ranks include clerical, computer lab and art instructional aides, as well as library clerks, night custodians and a groundskeeper.

Trustees are expected to make another, more modest round of reductions in classified personnel at their April 9 board meeting. The seven people in this group are paid from sources other than the district's general fund.


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To reach its $3.1 million target, Brentwood Union also raised the ratio of students to teachers from 31:1 to 34:1 at its three middle schools.

"It's a very broad scope -- we chipped away at all these areas," Superintendent Merrill Grant said.

He noted that the board would rather reduce costs across a range of services than eliminate certain ones altogether because of the time that's been invested getting them up and running.

Grant said long-time employees have told him this is the biggest financial blow the district has suffered since the fallout from Proposition 13 in 1978.

And if the state's financial situation deteriorates even further, he's not sure what Brentwood Union will do.

"If it does, what's left (to cut)?" Grant said. "There's no more room."

Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141 or rcoetsee@bayareanewsgroup.com.