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Paso Robles Joint Union School District approves $2 million in budget cuts

Posted at 10:46 PM, Feb 26, 2019

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) officially cut more than $2 million from the 2019-20 school year budget.

The hope was to keep as many of the cuts out of the classroom as possible.

Tuesday night, the board of trustees voted on nearly $2.1 million in cuts, about $2,000  more than originally proposed.

A big chunk of the cuts will come from early retirement incentives.

30 certificated and nine classified employees will take early retirement incentives – saving the district nearly half a million dollars.

The Paso Robles Community Day School will also close its doors– saving the district another $300,000.

The board says they tried to keep as many cuts as possible away from the classroom.

“These are hard decisions to make,” said Chris Bausch, PRJUSD Board member.

There were a few last minute tweaks.

The district will keep the Ed Tech Supervisor which is a management position.

The certificated music teacher position stays, but instead the board will not fill a vacant classified position.

“It’s a pretty safe place to save some money because there wasn’t a person in that position and there hasn’t been any interest as it’s from my understanding,” said Jeannine Manninger, the first vice president of the California School Employees Association Paso Robles Chapter 254.

Another couple thousand dollars was saved by eliminating one time textbook adoption, a county web portal service and Nearpods– a software program.

Manninger says the board did a good job of saving teachers and staff.

“Whether you are certified or classified, we are all a family and it is really disheartening to see any position disappear,” said Manninger.

However, classified employees are still holding their breath.

“It doesn’t mean that we feel completely safe, we still have more of a budget that needs to be cut,” said Manninger.

Some members of the public thought more should have been cut for the upcoming school year now instead of waiting for more cuts later.

The district will have to cut an additional $800,000 for the 2020-21 school year.

Some say that could result in layoffs.

The PRJUSD is faced with a $2 million dollar budget deficit, but even these proposed cuts will only get them to a 2% reserve which is below the state minimum budget reserve level.