More than half of the 85 Miramonte Elementary School teachers removed from their classrooms will have to apply to teach at a new campus in the fall when the South L.A. school reopens slightly smaller and moves off its year-round calendar.
Miramonte's entire staff was removed and placed at the unopened Augustus F. Hawkins High School in February after two teachers were arrested on charges of lewd conduct with students in separate cases. As investigations come to a close, L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy said "cleared" teachers will be able to return to teaching.
But because of the district's longtime effort to transition schools off a year-round calendar, several hundred of Miramonte Elementary School's students will instead be transferred to South Region Elementary School #12 in the fall based on where they live.
When Miramonte reopens for the fall it will have about 960 students, instead of the more than 1,300 it serves now, according to L.A. Unified spokeswoman Monica Carazo. The school will be able to staff 36 teaching positions based on that enrollment; meanwhile, South Region Elementary #12 is slated to have 592 students, Carazo said. Carazo could not specify how many teachers will be needed to staff South Region Elementary #12.
According to Carazo, the teachers now at Hawkins High will be able to return to the Miramonte campus based on seniority and the terms of the district and union bargaining agreement. Teachers will need to apply to teach at South Region Elementary School #12 if there is no room at Miramonte Elementary.
The Miramonte Elementary teachers currently placed at Hawkins High who received a preliminary pink slip, or "RIF notice," in March and who cannot secure a spot teaching at Miramonte in the fall will be laid off, according to Carazo. Teachers who did not receive a preliminary pink slip but who do not find a spot elsewhere will be placed into a contract pool assignment until a new position is available.
Carazo said the teachers will also be able to interview at 45 "Reed" schools in lower-income areas, where teachers are not subject to layoffs by seniority after a lawsuit argued it would impact the schools so severely as to compromise students' constitutional rights.
Teachers who are currently at Miramonte Elementary School had temporary contracts with the district and will go back onto the "RIF [reduction in force] rehire list," Carazo said.
At a rally last week, Miramonte Elementary School teachers said they were worried about their chances of returning to their students. UTLA South Area Chair Ingrid Villeda said the teachers should be allowed to follow their students to the new school without having to interview.
"That process will not be the same for these people," Villeda said. "They carry a certain connotation."
Carazo said the Miramonte teachers placed at Hawkins High have all received letters to inform them that the time they spent at Augustus Hawkins School "will not be reflected negatively in [their] service record with the Los Angeles Unified School District."