California’s financial crisis is forcing schools to cut their budgets, but, after last year’s cuts, there isn’t a lot left to cut. Now, more teachers and other school employees may lose their jobs.
Local schools cut millions last year. Now, Coachella Valley Unified School District will cut slightly more than $8 million from the 2009-2010 school year.
“Unfortunately, it is a sign of the times but it is the most difficult situation a school board is faced with,” says Carey Carlson, CVUSD Interim Superintendent.
After slashing nearly $12 million from last year’s budget, there is little left to cut. The district is taking a chunk out of savings to off set some of the cuts, but 80 percent of the budget is salaries.
So, many teachers, counselors, and administrators will face layoffs.
“You can only cut paper, pencils, and paper clips so much,” says Jamie Brown, CVUSD Business Services Director. “The biggest brunt on the budget is people.”
With fewer teachers, classrooms will be fuller, making learning harder. Cutting counselors and other employees means less support.
“It’s going to impact the children, no matter how hard we try to keep it away from the classroom,” says Carlson.
The district will probably lay off bus drivers and cut out some routes. Students will need to walk further than they did last year to get to the bus stop, but some say this is a positive change.
“I think it is a good thing,” says Carlson. ” We need them to get out of their chairs and exercise and get healthier.”
However, changes for the better are few and far between and the future could get worse. CVUSD may face even more cuts in May.