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Arcohe Union School District still discussing budget cuts

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Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:47 am, Thu Jun 14, 2012.

Arcohe Union School District Superintendent Jim Shock has recommended spending less in deferred maintenance in 2012-13 to balance the budget. He has been tasked with finding $150,000 in ongoing cuts after trustees there denied two motions to lay off teachers.

At a special study session Tuesday morning, Shock also suggested reducing the teaching staff by two positions in 2013-14 and an additional one in 2014-15 to cut ongoing costs.

Like other local school districts, electives including music, physical education and sports have been eliminated in recent years due to state budget shortfalls. Teaching staff, too, is at bare-bones levels, Shock said.

A few years ago, four of the district's 23 teacher positions were eliminated.

After an anonymous person or group distributed a flier threatening the district's lone school was going to shut down, Shock denounced the idea and said that is not an option in dealing with budget cuts.

Arcohe's school board already approved reducing the hours of five classified employees and eliminated a technology aide and a bus driver to save money, but trustees could not agree to lay off teachers, with the most recent denial coming last month.

Shock's latest recommendation will sustain an 8 percent of the $2.5 million budget. Because of its size, the district is required to keep 4 percent of its annual budget in reserves, compared to the 3 percent requirement for larger districts such as Lodi Unified.

The school board is expected to vote on the plan at its regular meeting next Thursday.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com. For more information about local education issues, read our Education Café blog.

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