The Lafayette School District could cut the equivalent of 19 full-time employees under proposals district staff presented Tuesday to deal with the district's $1.3 million budget deficit caused by the state budget crisis.

Tonight, the Acalanes Union High School will consider what to do about its own $2.5 million dollar funding gap.

The Lafayette district would lose $1.7 million under the governor's budget proposal, but that would be partially offset by its new $313 annual parcel tax that will generate $400,000 next year. This year, with the old $132 parcel tax, the district had a $700,000 deficit.

The proposed cuts would slash $1.7 million from the budget. The district would not lay off many full-time employees, but it would reduce the number of hours worked by science instructors, music teachers, technology specialists and library aides.

About 150 people attended Tuesday night's meeting, including dozens of teachers wearing T-shirts encouraging the district to tap its rainy-day reserves to avoid cuts.

"We feel strongly that any reduction in staff to balance the budget is a mistake," said Meritt Davies, president of the district's teachers' union. "We ask you to please save our staff and consider the reserves."

The district has not issued pink slips in more than 20 years, she said.

Salaries and benefits make up 87 percent of the district's $27 million annual general fund budget.


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The Lafayette School District's Governing Board will take action on budget cuts at a meeting March 10.

School districts must inform teachers of layoffs by March 15, even though they will not have final budget numbers from the state until summer.

In the Acalanes district, Superintendent Jim Negri asked parent clubs and foundations to fill $1 million of the deficit. Even with that help, the district will still need to cut $1.5 million from its $55 million general fund budget.

"This is not business as usual this coming year," Negri said in January. The Acalanes district's Governing Board will make final decisions on cuts at its March 5 meeting.

Reach Paul Thissen at 925-943-8163 or pthissen@bayareanewsgroup.com.

If you go

The Acalanes Union High School District's Governing Board meets at 7:30 today in its District Office Board Room, 1212 Pleasant Hill Road, Lafayette.