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HUSD childcare services facing massive cut

The school board voted to go ahead and send pink slips out to employees in 48 full-time-equivalent positions involved in childcare programs at Hayward elementary schools and Helen Turner Children’s Center.

The reason: The majority of those programs are funded by state grants that might be chopped when a final budget is passed. On Monday, it became clearer to the district which funds could be affected and they had a special meeting Wednesday to announce the pink slips would be issued.

In addition to the employees, there are a lot of parents who would be affected. At Helen Turner, there are 264 kids in those programs. Out of those, 108 will be going into kindergarten, and 95 would be able to transition into the half-day preschool program there, which has a different funding source and will not be affected. Another 23 are too young for the preschool and have nowhere to go.

And another rub is that there won’t be any programs for the 3-year-olds who would be newcomers this year.

Other districts are facing similar cuts, but are waiting to see if it actually happens and have not sent out pink slips. Trustee Luis Reynoso wanted to take that approach and cast the lone dissenting vote. But Board President Paul Frumkin said that given Hayward Unified’s dire fiscal situation, they don’t have that luxury.

“We’re tending to be a little more cautious,” he said. “Other districts do not have the same kind of threat of receivership, and we already had to take out a loan to make payroll.”

Expect a story on this soon.

Eric Kurhi