Even in the Acalanes Union High School District, in one of the wealthiest parts of Contra Costa County, layoffs are inevitable.

The district will cut 46 positions -- including 20 full- or part-time teachers -- to close a $2.5 million budget hole under the governor's proposed state budget.

The district will cover some of the staff member cuts by not rehiring temporary teachers and leaving open positions vacated through resignations and retirements.

Other teachers will be getting pink slips, said Chris Learned, assistant superintendent for business services.

In January, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed slashing the state's education budget by an estimated $3 billion as part of an effort to close a $14.5 billion budget deficit. On Wednesday, the state's Legislative Analyst's Office said California's deficit is $1.5 billion larger than the governor announced.

Enrollment in the district is declining, so fewer teachers were needed next year, regardless of the state budget crisis. District officials had hoped that normal attrition would have allowed them to downsize without resorting to layoffs, Learned said.

Now, his hope for avoiding layoffs lies with the second revision of the governor's budget.

"We're hoping when the May revision comes out things will improve," Learned said, but layoff notices for teachers must be out by March 15.

Support staff must be notified of layoffs 45 days before the end of the school year, but Learned said the district was trying to compile the list as soon as possible. If budget cuts are not as severe as anticipated, some employees who get pink slips won't be laid off, he said.

Learned presented the proposed cuts to the Governing Board on Wednesday night, but board members did not discuss them. No members of the public commented on the cuts, and union representatives asked clarifying questions but said little.

The proposed cuts call for the elimination of the equivalent of 38.3 full-time jobs -- to save $1.5 million, if the district's governing board approves the staff-proposed cuts March 5. Another $1 million in donations from parents clubs and foundations will close the rest of the $2.5 million hole in the district's budget.

Twenty of the positions, the equivalent of 16.2 full-time jobs, are teachers. English, social studies and special education teachers will be among those laid off. Another 23 positions are support staff, the equivalent of 20.6 full-time jobs, and 3 positions are administration, the equivalent of 1.5 full-time jobs.

Linda Giannotti, union representative for support staff, said janitors and maintenance staff members would be particularly hard-hit by the cuts. Five such jobs are already vacant, she said.

"People are feeling this crunch, even with those unfilled positions," Giannotti said.

Classrooms will not be cleaned as fast and buildings will not be repaired as fast, Learned said.

The district would also cut $143,033 in non-personnel expenses at the district office under the proposal. And it would require summer school to break even and cut half the $100,000 budget of a summer training program for teachers.

Under the governor's proposed budget, the district will receive $2.75 million less general fund money than it expected and another $342,037 less for specific programs like special education and classroom materials. Before the proposed cuts were announced, it had been anticipating a budget surplus. The district's general fund budget is about $55 million this year.

"It's very painful," Learned said.

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