The Twin Rivers Unified school board switched direction Tuesday night and voted to send pink slips to 101 employees before the state-mandated deadline Friday.
Last week, the board ignored district staff members who recommended sending preliminary pink slips to teachers, librarians, counselors and support workers. That evening the staff proposal died when no one on the board voted on it.
On Tuesday, only board member Linda Fowler voted against the layoffs for classified employees and teachers, while board President Cortez Quinn abstained from voting on teacher layoffs.
The board's change of heart came after Sacramento County schools chief David Gordon and others warned that without layoff notices, Twin Rivers officials will have to find the $9.1 million in savings elsewhere to avoid compromising the district's financial status.
After the meeting, board member Michael Baker said he and other board members decided to reconsider the layoffs after checking in with other school districts and the Sacramento County Office of Education.
Teachers union President John Ennis called on the board to vote yes on the layoffs.
"Preliminary layoffs are painful but necessary," he said.
This week 12.5 instructional paraeducator positions and four librarian positions were pulled from the recommendation, apparently making it more palatable for board members.
The layoffs voted on Tuesday will save the district about $8.9 million, said Rob Ball, director of business support services.
Last week's recommendation would have saved the district $9.1 million, said Kate Ingersoll, executive director of fiscal services for the district.
Representatives from Twin Rivers United Educators had pushed for a reprieve for the paraeducators, who assist teachers in the lower grade levels, as well as for the four high school librarians, Ennis said.
They had also wanted to save the district's adult education instructors, who are all on the chopping block, because of a state proposal to move adult education classes from high schools to community colleges.
Twin Rivers staffers said the positions targeted for layoff notices are due to declining enrollment and would not result in curriculum cuts.
District staff members said they met with principals and other school staff to determine where cuts should be made.
Many positions targeted for pink slips were funded by one-time funds scheduled to run out June 30, Ingersoll said.
She said that savings from those positions have already been included in future budget projections.
About 90 people filled the boardroom Tuesday night, most holding signs protesting the adult education layoffs.
Board members and district staff said they don't plan to close the program, but had to issue the pink slips in case the state moves the program to community colleges.
Whatever the state's decision, the district can opt to revoke the pink slips, which are only preliminary.
School districts across the state must send preliminary pink slips by March 15 to any teacher, nurse or counselor who may be laid off at the end of the school year.
The deadline falls well before the state finalizes its budget, so districts usually send far more preliminary notices in March than needed as a precautionary measure.
Ball said that the district is likely to rescind some of the pinks slips before the next deadline May 15 and could bring even more back before the next school year.
In the past three years, Twin Rivers Unified has sent 687 preliminary pink slips and ultimately laid off 296 people.
Call The Bee's Diana Lambert, (916) 321-1090. Read her Report Card blog at http://blogs.sacbee.com/report-card/.