The Sunnyside Unified School District governing board narrowly approved a plan Tuesday night by the superintendent to cut more than $5 million after voters rejected renewing a budget override earlier this month. The override would have maintained funding for the district.
The board voted three to two, with members Hernandez and Crouch in the opposition. Their concerns were that the plan was made too quickly, with too few details and with not enough input from the community members and employees who could be affected. Those who voted for the plan said that the superintendent's cabinet would still consult those who could be affected by the cuts as well as the communities surrounding the schools that would either close or be redesigned.
More cuts will likely be discussed next month. The plan that the board approved Tuesday night is as follows:
1. Closure of Los Ranchitos Elementary School ($750,000)
2. Redesign of Los Ranchitos building as a Health and Wellness Center
3. Closure of PECE (Professional and Community Education Center) ($25,000)
4. Chaparral Middle School - Redesign as a New K-8 Fine Arts School ($1,000,000)
5. Redesign of Ocotillo to a Pre-K through first grade Early Childhood Center ($681,585)
6. Reduce and redesign central district maintenance services ($919,000)
7. Release of ESI and Return-to-Work retiree employees ($222,746)
8. Eliminate one elementary school specialist at each site ($585,000)
9. Reduction of ten campus monitors ($219,000)
10. Reduction in administration and coordinators ($500,000)
Total recommended budget reduction/savings: $5,082,331
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