Santa Clarita School District to Lay Off 80 Teachers, Staff Members

Santa Clarita School District to Lay Off 80 Teachers, Staff Members
An aerial view of homes in a housing development in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2023 (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Micaela Ricaforte

A California school district’s governing board voted this week to lay off 80 teachers and staff members due to dwindling funds.

The William S. Hart School District in Santa Clarita is facing a budget deficit because of declining enrollment, according to officials at a Feb. 21 meeting.

The board voted unanimously to lay off the district’s certified employees—such as teachers and counselors—while it voted 4-0 with trustee Cherise Moore abstaining, to lay off classified employees, which are typically non-teaching staff.

The board said it plans to lay off 50 teachers, six support-program specialists and seven counselors, as well as dozens of therapists, custodians, warehouse workers, administrative assistants and groundskeepers.

District officials gave the board a review of the budget at the meeting, highlighting the need to cut costs.

A large portion of the budget is based on daily student attendance, which has steadily dropped in recent years.

Attendance has dropped from 21,211 in 2021 to 19,613 in the 2023-24 school year, according to a December report by the district.

Over the next two years, it’s expected to drop by about 500 students per year, according to district officials.

Last month, the board approved a fiscal stability plan to save about $46 million over the next three and a half years, which included the plan to lay off dozens of employees.

Layoff notices will be sent out by the end of next week, according to officials.