Wright district cutting 11 teaching positions

The Wright School District in Santa Rosa is eliminating more than eight teaching positions and not filling three additional vacancies as it wrestles with looming budget woes.

The move could potentially affect about 15 teachers because some of the positions were held by part-time employees who shared classroom posts.<NO1><NO>

The move was made in a special board meeting Wednesday that was called after negotiations between district officials and the Wright Educators Association reached an impasse last <NO1><NO>week despite both sides working with a mediator.

District officials and teachers said Thursday there is hope that at least some positions for more experienced teachers can be reinstated before the beginning of the school year next month.

Talks are to continue <NO1><NO>today but sticking points remain over the length of the deal, furlough days and benefits pay.

"We are getting into discussions and trying to resolve it," Superintendent Adam Stein said of the potential for bringing at least some jobs back.

Stein took over the superintendent's post July 1 after the school board decided not to retain Superintendent Karen Salvaggio after one year at the helm.

"A lot of (districts) are in dire straits," Stein said. "How can we protect programs for students while being fiscally solvent?"

Stein and a first-year business manager are working to craft an approximately $13 million budget for about 1,600 students spread between three campuses in west Santa Rosa along Stony Point Road between West College Avenue and Hearn Avenue.<NO1><NO>

It was unclear Thursday how the staff reductions would affect class sizes but Stein said the goal was to cap kindergarten through third grade classes at 25 kids and fourth through sixth grade rooms at 28.

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