Faced with the prospect of a $1.6 million deficit next school year if significant cuts aren't included in the new budget, Las Lomitas School District officials are recommending that the school board approve reductions that include a hiring freeze, larger class sizes, cuts in or elimination of some enrichment programs, and shrinking the summer school program to mandated classes only.
The school board may approve these and other cuts at its Feb. 10 meeting at the Las Lomitas District office, 1011 Altschul Ave. in Menlo Park. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
Superintendent Eric Hartwig said in a staff report that "almost zero local revenue growth" is predicted for the 2010-11 school year. That, coupled with Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed permanent per-student cuts in state funding, requires the district to cut about $1.2 million of ongoing expenditures and find about $200,000 in temporary savings to get out of deficit spending by 2011-12, he said.
Mr. Hartwig said the district is projected to "deficit spend" by about $481,000 this fiscal year.
The proposed cuts, totaling about $1.1 million over the next two years, are the result of an effort by district staff to identify and prioritize possible cuts to the budget, Mr. Hartwig said. After reviewing more than 50 options, district officials came up with a recommended list that "would be least likely to affect the educational program or involve reducing staff," he said.
About 75 percent of the proposed cuts would be put in place in the next fiscal year, with the remaining cuts intended for the 2011-12 fiscal year, he said. Some of the cuts proposed for 2011-12 will require negotiated agreements, and if the agreements aren't achieved, another $214,000 in cuts would have to be made, Mr. Hartwig said in the report.
In addition to the cuts listed above, other proposed reductions include up to five non-instructional furlough days for all employees; lengthening the computer replacement cycle from four years to five years; eliminating traditional GATE (Gifted and Talented Education program) projects; hiring teachers in the early years of their careers; and cutting special education spending.
For more information, call the district office at 854-2880.