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May 5, 2010 11:57 PM by Monica Quintero

Orcutt announces new superintendent

Orcutt Union School District announced on Wednesday its new superintendent and he knows he'll have a big challenge when it comes to the budget. Bob Bush takes over for current superintendent Sharon McHolland on July 1st. McHolland is retiring.

Bush said the district is expecting to have to make about $2 million worth of cuts next year and $4 million for the following year.

Classrooms at Orcutt schools have been hit hard. Bush said, "We've raised class sizes, we're letting go of some outstanding teachers."

The new superintendent said more layoffs are expected in the future. He said, "Especially if the projections are to that, after next year it's going to be another $4 million cut. It's such a shame."

Another issue is a decline in enrollment. But despite those problems, Bush is staying optimistic. "Things will turn around. It's tough right now and it will probably be tough another couple of years but the economy will turn around. Education will be fine."

To turn things around, the school board felt Bush was best for the job. He's been with the district for 38 years.

James Peterson, School Board President, said, "We felt why spend the money to go out and do a search when we had the perfect candidate right in our own backyard."

School administrators said the goal is to keep cuts away from the classroom and they're trying to be proactive as issues arise. Orcutt schools, like all others around the state, are playing the waiting game right now.

They're anxiously waiting to hear from the governor and find out about the new budget and how it will affect them. There is one area where Orcutt schools are expanding. Orcutt Academy High School currently only has freshmen and sophomores. Juniors will be included next school year.

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