http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/02/03/major-cuts-for-schools


Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 3, 2012

Major cuts for schools

Programs, jobs could be restored if tax measure passes

by Glenn Wohltmann

Looking at bad and worse figures from the state, Pleasanton school officials have released numbers that could mean cuts of nearly 30 fulltime jobs for the next school year.

The more severe cuts would come if Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for a tax increase on the November ballot fails. In that scenario, nearly $5.5 million would have to be cut from this year's budget, and school officials are gearing up now to make those cuts.

"Due to statutory timelines for layoffs, we are unable to wait until November and hope that the governor's tax initiative passes," Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi says in a Guest Opinion this week (page 8). "We must base our budget on facts and not hope."

A tentative plan from the district would eliminate funding for the Barton Reading Program, axe adult education and summer school, along with its director and classified staff, drop three fulltime counselor positions from middle schools, another three at high schools and one-and-a-half at elementary schools, plus eight-and-a-half elementary fulltime reading specialist positions.

The fulltime positions cited are not necessarily fulltime jobs held by one person; in many cases, employees are part-time workers or split their schedules at different locations.

The plan would also cut one fulltime psychologist position and one program specialist position and eliminate support for home schooling for kindergarten through eighth grade. Two fulltime custodian positions at high schools and a one-and-a-half time middle school custodian position would be cut, along with a half-time custodian position at district offices. A fulltime equivalent maintenance position would also be cut, as would car allowances for managers; management would see its work year cut by five days.

Should voters approve a tax increase, many of those worst-case cuts could be restored sometime after November. The director of adult education and summer school could be brought back, as could classified support for those programs. Elementary school counseling could be restored midyear, bringing it to the same as this year; even with the tax increase, middle school counseling would see one-and-a-half fulltime positions cut and high school counseling would be cut by one fulltime position.

If the tax increase is approved, elementary reading support specialists would be still cut by four-and-a-half fulltime positions and the teachers assigned to the Barton Reading Program would be cut by half to one half-time position. Psychologists and program specialist positions would remain the same, as would the one-and-a-half-time position for home schooling support. Custodial positions could be restored to their 2011-12 schedules.

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