Several Beverly Hills High School students attended the March 14 Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education meeting to voice support for José Sanchez, one of 12 district employees who received notices they may be laid off next year.
The layoff notices are part of a complicated process that extends throughout the year, and they do not guarantee that a teacher will be let go from the district, BHUSD assistant superintendent of personnel services Matt Horvath said. He added that of the 12 district employees who received notices, eight were teachers and four were administrators.
During a public comment period at the board meeting, some of Sanchez’s students made it clear they hope he returns to the classroom next year.
“A teacher’s merit extends beyond the course curriculum,” said a student in Sanchez’s honors Spanish class. “[Sanchez] has embedded our minds with a growth mindset and morals of kindness and acceptance. He is a beacon of contagious excellence and a member of a select group of teachers who have truly had a lasting impact on my life and education.”
Sanchez has taught Spanish at BHHS for different grade levels since August 2019, Horvath said.
The district is considering reducing its staff due to the fact it is operating on a budget deficit and is no longer receiving millions of dollars in COVID-19 funds from the state, Horvath said.
Schools are required by the California Education Code to issue the notices by March 15, but sometimes positions and funding can open after the notices are sent out, causing uncertainty in the district’s staffing needs, Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy said.
“There’s no perfect puzzle to this … but we work hard every single day [so] that we can bring people back,” Bregy said.
During the meeting, the board also approved an $11,000 contract with consulting firm Leadership Associates to help find a new principal for BHHS, but Dr. Bregy did not give a formal update on the search.
The board also approved a $4.7 million credit paid back to the district as part of its contract with Pro West Constructors, which is carrying out modernization and construction projects at Beverly Hills High School. The credit was approved after Fonder-Salari, the district’s bond manager overseeing construction, and Pro-West Constructors agreed on a reduced scope of work.
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