BRENTWOOD -- Feeling the sting of the state's financial crisis, Brentwood Union School District is preparing to slash an estimated $3.1 million from its budget by the end of this month.

Trustees met Wednesday for the first time since district administrators began telling employees about the imminent spending cuts two days earlier.

The reductions could mean laying off about 25 teachers along with approximately four campus administrators.

Bus transportation is also on the chopping block, and a broad array of other services from special education and counseling to music classes and grounds maintenance could be curtailed.

Superintendent Merrill Grant outlined how anticipated losses of attendance-based revenue and funding earmarked for specific uses prompted half a dozen district administrators to come up with a two-page list of proposed reductions totaling $5.1 million.

"Is it going to be messy and distasteful? Absolutely. There's no way around it," Grant told an unusually large audience.

Taking into consideration the services that rank-and-file employees and the general public say they value most, district decision-makers now will whittle down that list of expenses according to which are the most feasible to eliminate. Also factoring into that process will be current staffing levels and enrollment at each of district's 10 campuses.


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The school board will hold two special meetings next week to give the public a chance to weigh in. The first will be 7 p.m. Wednesday in Garin Elementary School's multipurpose room, 250A First St., Brentwood.

The second will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at a location that has yet to be determined.

Trustees are scheduled to consider the $3.1 million budget reduction at their Feb. 27 board meeting.

The district then will start notifying certain members of its employee groups that they might lose their jobs. The notices don't necessarily all translate into layoffs, however. How deep Brentwood Union's personnel cuts ultimately go depends on whether the state's financial picture improves and by how much over the next four months.

Grant's entire presentation is posted on the district's Web site: http://www.brentwood.k12.ca.us.

Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141 or rcoetsee@bayareanewsgroup.com