The Victor Valley's single largest employer will be 36 employees smaller next school year.


The Hesperia Unified school board voted Monday night to cut an additional 36 employees. The cuts follow a previous move to lay off 42 teachers. (The district later said only 24 of the teachers would end up being cut.)


The cuts include a school police officer; a Mojave High School campus assistant; two career center clerks at Hesperia and Sultana High Schools; two district office secretaries; six instructional assistants at Eucalyptus Elementary School, Hesperia High School, Joshua Circle Elementary School and Sultana High School; a payroll specialist; two Mojave High School secretaries; and 21 special education assistants at Cedar Middle School, Hesperia High School, Hesperia Junior High School, Oak Hills High School, Ranchero Middle School and Sultana High School.


Five school police officers also had between 21 and 27 days cut from their annual work schedule.


The board approved the cuts by a 3-2 margin, with board members Hardy Black and Anthony Riley dissenting.


It's possible that these are not the last layoffs the HUSD will see before the new school year begins: By law, school districts only have to give non-teachers a 45 day notice before the start of the new school year in August. (Teachers have to be notified by March 15.)


"We won't know what the real budget numbers are until mid-June, but we certainly hope this is the end of the layoffs for next year," school board president Chris Bentley said Tuesday, "but we never know what Sacramento is going to do next year. And everything we do, in terms of layoffs, is in response to how Sacramento funds us."


Gov. Jerry Brown's original budget proposal contained no cuts to public education, but was balanced around voters approving extending expiring taxes. Legislators voting to put the question before the voters this summer is no in doubt. If the taxes are not extended, district officials have said they will need to cut an estimated $7 million from the 2011-2012 school year budget.


At the start of the 2010-2011 school year, the HUSD employed approximately 1,900 people. The district did not have an estimate as to how much money would be saved by Monday's cuts.


The next meeting of the HUSD school board will be held on June 13, 2011, at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.