SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) – Major layoffs are on the horizon for employees in a North Bay School District. 

This comes after a majority vote by the board of trustees. 

Over 100 employees will be laid off before the next school year begins in San Rafael city schools district. 

According to this statement from Superintendent Jim Hodgeboom distance learning as a result of COVID-19 led to this decision.

“Given the current “lack of work” under remote learning and the challenging and uncertain times ahead in public education, the board approved significant reductions to our classified staff,’ Hodgeboom said. 

It cannot be understated enough this is a very unfortunate, heartbreaking situation that will impact many of our valued employees.

However, I want to emphasize that this is to prepare for a “worst case scenario” and to allow for flexibility and opportunity as we reimagine many classified positions based on what schools will look like in the fall.

“None of the positions should be eliminated,” Katina Pantazes said. 

Katina Pantazes is the president of the union that represents employees in San Rafael and neighboring Miller Creek School District which will be laying off 50 employees of its own. 

She says both districts have not identified what the education models will look like after the mass layoffs.

“this is my biggest argument. San Rafael City Schools and Miller Creek they’re not really sure yet what that plan is. My argument is if you don’t really know how you’re going to open up schools how can you do layoffs?” Pantazes said. 

Some of the eliminated positions include:

  • Instructional Assistants
  • Food Services
  • Attendance Clerks
  • Campus Supervision and Security
  • Custodial and Library Specialists

“We are heart broken,” Christine Jones said. 

Christine and Scott Jones say losing one of those instructional assistants will have a major impact on their son.

“Our son Owen has muscular dystrophy and he counts on his one-on-one aid,” Christine said. 

“I would say they’re getting rid of really good staff members,” Owen said. 

“We think there is a window of opportunity for the school district to do the right thing,” Scott said. 

The impacted employees will receive a 60-day notice, and be paid over the next two months while the union and the school district try to negotiate a resolution.

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