The equivalent of at least six teachers will receive preliminary layoff notices next week. The Galt Joint Union High School District narrowly approved the action at a special meeting Friday, with a 3-2 vote.
Trustees Kathleen Amos and Angela DaPrato were not in favor of the proposal.
DaPrato said Monday that she felt the process was rushed, and she had only 24 hours to review the recommendation.
"There wasn't any discussion on the positions," she said. "It's like we were just given a rubber stamp to vote on them."
Among the affected elective courses are those taught by former Sacramento County Teacher of the Year Jana Din.
While Din will not be laid off because of her seniority, a number of her child development-related courses could be cut to save money, thus forcing her to take another position she is qualified for. She has taught at Galt High School since 1981.
Former Galt High School principal Charles Howell's current position as administrator on special assignment is also on the layoff list. He retired March 1.
Superintendent Daisy Lee said the positions were chosen based on student enrollment in specific courses and determined after meeting with a group of principals and a vice principals five times since last month.
"We had a very careful process when we looked at student sign-ups. It's an objective process based on numbers," Lee said.
Preliminary pink slips are required by law to go out by March 15. They become final on May 15.
District officials have already estimated a $1.9 million shortfall for 2012-13. Among the issues facing the district are automatic pay increases already approved in union contracts and paying for positions that were funded this year by one-time federal money.
Teachers' union president Alex Bauer said administrators should first look to cut their positions instead of teachers.
"If these times are so urgent, why doesn't the district administration take the courageous step of making the first cut on themselves? That way we can make sure the first cuts are far away from the classroom," he said. "There needs to be a better way of dealing with all this."
In addition to the layoffs approved Friday, the board may be asked in the coming months to cut home-to-school transportation to save money. The practice currently costs $500,000 and is not required by law for most students.
Other options could include a salary freeze, further reducing school site and district operational budgets, or eliminating funding contributions to specific programs including the adult school, Chief Finance Officer Audrey Kilpatrick told school board members last month.
In the end, DaPrato said more thought should go into what positions are eliminated next school year.
"I understand the budget and needing to make cuts," she said. She doesn't want students at both high schools to be moved around as they were at the beginning of this school year.
"We need to make educated decisions," she said.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.