The Santa Monica-Malibu School District terminated 58 full-time certified employees, including counselors, nurses, and elementary and secondary teachers. The proposed resolution initially ended of employment for 61 staff members, but three retained their positions after a hearing.
Of the staff that requested a hearing before termination, Laura Check and Maribel Paulido retained their positions. The judge did not find grounds to fire Mara Chenik without a junior employee to perform the “service she is certified and competent to render.” Other teachers such as Monica Micale and Joanna Oroaco, both kindergarten teachers failed to show merit for seniority in terms of accreditation.
The Board of Education approved the resolution at May 10 meeting that the staff members will not return for the fall. By law the district must notify certified employees of termination for the following year before May 14. These positions are being terminated due to the current lack of funding for the 2010-11 budget.
The proposed resolution to terminate the employees was decided by Administrative Law Judge Amy C. Lahr for the Office of Administrative Hearings on April 15 in Santa Monica. Superintendent Time Cuneo represented the district at the hearing as part of the “teacher reductions in force” that occurs each year. These hearings give staff the opportunity to bring a case for retaining their employment.
The district has the authority to withdraw any notices of termination before the last working day July 1, if determined there is adequate funding to keep the position. Originally the district proposed 92.2 terminations, with one position being part-time.
Mirror Staff Writerkatherine@smmirror.com