Due to declining enrollment and the governor's budget proposal, the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District board is already bracing for a worst-case scenario for 2012-13.
The last five years the district has made cuts of almost $6 million to personnel, programs, facilities, supplies/services and employee pay reductions, Superintendent Karen Schauer said in an email sent to district employees Friday.
At a special meeting a day earlier, trustees unanimously approved issuing 54 preliminary lay-off notices to teachers and other certificated employees. By law, initial pink slips must be received by March 15.
"Due to uncertain state fiscal conditions, we reduced staffing to allow flexibility depending on state and local outcomes," Schauer wrote.
The district is hoping voters approve a tax initiative in November to provide an increase in educational funding.
If the state budget shortfall continues, however, trustees also approved the following non-negotiable cuts last week:
- General reduced staffing due to declining enrollment: $233,000
- Youth Development Coordinator: $51,000
- K-6 band: $43,000
- K-8 library services: $106,000
- Student support services that are unrestricted: $401,425
- 67 percent of the regular education transportation: $277,000
- Administration/clerical restructure: $178,000
- Operations: $50,000
- Closing two schools: $900,000
- Drawing down reserves by $1.5 million.
Other potential position reductions that do not have to be approved by a union include school administration, K-6 multiple subject instructors, the youth development coordinator, elementary music and band instructors, elementary physical education instructors, middle school core and elective instructors, and a middle school counselor, according to Schauer.
Meanwhile, the district is waiting on the governor's so-called "May Revise" which will provide new state budget information. March bargaining dates are scheduled with both of the district's major unions, and agreements made with them would help to change the potential cuts listed above, Schauer said.
"The month of March is difficult given hard decisions that must be made concerning our budget and potential layoffs. We must prepare for worst-case budget condition," she wrote in the e-mail to staff.
"Our employees are committed and caring, working hard together to accomplish great things for our GJUESD students. I promise you that I will work together with our school system's leaders to bring local certainty as quickly as possible."
Last year, trustees approved 48 preliminary teacher lay-off notices, but were able to restore three of the positions before the final notices had to be mailed out on May 15.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.