The Victor Valley's largest employer will continue shrinking when the Hesperia Unified School District school board next meets. Faced with a state budget crisis, the board is expected to vote to eliminate 30 non-teaching, non-management positions (known as classified employees).

The item was to be voted on at the April 20 school board meeting, but at press time on Friday, three of the five board members were not expected to attend, meaning the vote would be postponed to a later meeting date. See HesperiaStar.com for the date of the rescheduled meeting.

The board has a limited window in which to vote on the issue: By law, the board must notify classified employees that their services will not be needed in the 2009-2010 school year 45 days before the new school year officially starts for employees on July 1.

Whenever the board votes on the issue, the 30 classified positions to be eliminated include the following:

* 3 career center workers
* 3 district office secretaries, including a receptionist
* 3 high school health clerks
* 5 computer learning assistants or specialists
* 6 clerk-typists
* 10 elementary school proctors

In addition, 51 vacant classified positions will remain unfilled.

Two Maple Elementary School employees -- a library media specialist and parent community liaison -- will keep their jobs, but have their hours reduced.

The state budget passed in February included $7.4 billion in cuts for schools and community colleges this year, and an additional $3.2 billion next year. Last year, 70 percent of the HUSD's $160 million budget came from state revenues. Layoffs were all but inevitable as a result: More than 80 percent of the unrestricted portion of the HUSD's budget is salary and benefits.

At their February 23 meeting, the board voted to lay off up to 181 teachers. State law requires teachers be notified by March 15 if their services will not be required in the coming school year. Seventeen principals and district office management positions were also cut, and the hours reduced for 107 managers and counselors.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.