Eliminate district-funded transportation for sports. Review the necessity of administrator positions at both the site and district office level. Reduce vice principals and other support staff such as counselors. Provide all-day kindergarten or charge families for on-site childcare.
Those were among the cost-cutting ideas the public brought to Thursday's town hall-style meeting.
"We always talk about what not to cut ... but what I'd also like to hear are some alternatives," Lodi Unified School District board president George Neely said, encouraging speakers to bring money-making ideas to the table as well.
The district is anticipating a further $13.4 million funding shortfall. Without the extension of certain state taxes that go toward education, the district expects to lose an additional $349 in per-student funding.
"That sounds bad, but it could get worse," Neely said.
It is the third straight year school districts have been faced with unprecedented budget cuts.
Trustees have already approved hundreds of layoffs and eliminated close to five dozen district-funded cell phones and Internet connections to save money. Just last week, they gave direction to close Clements School in the fall and move its students to Lockeford School, and on Tuesday trustees will vote on whether to allow advertising on district assets.
On Thursday, more than two dozen speakers made pitches regarding what programs and positions should be saved and which ones could be eliminated. Some, including students whose letters were read by Christa McAuliffe Middle School teacher Martha Snider, came up with solutions.
"Instead of cutting teachers, cut the ones that don't teach well," one wrote.
Trustee Bonnie Cassel, who made it clear that she is not advocating eliminating sports, would like to see community members step up to pay some of those costs.
Last year, the district held a similar series of three town hall meetings where many of the same issues surrounding state budget implications were brought up.
At the beginning of Thursday's meeting, Neely encouraged the public to continue to submit budget-reduction ideas on the district's Web site or through a suggestion box at the district office.
"If your friends missed this meeting, there are more opportunities," he said of public input opportunities.
Trustees are holding a board workshop May 7 to review all of the cost-cutting recommendations. Although public comment will not be taken at that meeting, regular board meetings are scheduled for Tuesday and May 3.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.