School district approves out-of-classroom cuts
TRUCKEE ” A resolution to save about $479,000 passed unanimously Thursday night by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees. The resolution, which aims to reduce spending out of the classroom, would eliminate 10.33 full-time positions from the classified staff ” a pool of employees including custodians, maintenance workers, secretaries and community liasons.
Since some of the positions are unfilled and will now remain that way, it means about six employees could lose their jobs. The decision doesn’t necessarily mean jobs will be cut, however. A salary concession, for example, could reduce the number of layoffs, Assistant Superintendent Steve Dickinson said.
Dickinson, who deals in finance, said the district is willing to work with the classified staff’s union to reduce the number of actual layoffs.
“None of these decisions have been easy to make,” said Superintendent Steve Jennings in reference to the cuts.
Jane Loomis, principal of Coldstream Alternative School, said the reductions to classified staff should be remembered when the district is out of their current budget struggles, so their compensation can rise again.
“Classified employees fought long and hard for what they’ve got,” Loomis said. “They’re the backbone of this district.”
Trustee Lisa Mohun expressed some doubts about the resolution, namely in relation to the three full-time custodians the district could lose.
“I am looking at custodians and thinking I’m not sure about that number, especially in light of this swine flu,” Mohun said. She said keeping the schools clean is a high priority for keeping students healthy.
John Britto, district facilities director, said the cuts would be distributed evenly throughout the school sites.
The total out-of-classroom savings now add up to about $820,000 of the roughly $2.5 million already cut from next year’s budget. The district faces a worst-case deficit of about $4 million for the upcoming school year.
About $180,000 more in out-of-classroom reductions will come before the board prior to its May 20 meeting, Dickinson said.
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