Like other school districts across California, Brentwood is facing major budget reductions because of the state's $8 billion deficit. The Brentwood school board voted Wednesday night to cut temporary employees for the coming year and reduce or eliminate hours for classified employees.
Additionally, the board voted to potentially reassign 10 administrators. Any reassignments must take place by May 15.
Brentwood Superintendent Merrill Grant said Friday that school districts throughout Contra Costa County are doing their layoff reductions in anticipation of the March 15 deadline. Grant said he is hopeful that the district will see some relief in the next 90 days.
Potential relief could come from increased enrollment, Grant said. It is also possible that the state could revise its budget this spring, Grant added.
"There is a lot of optimism out there that things might improve," he said.
Other Brentwood budget reductions include eliminating cell phone service and bottled water in classrooms and reducing to one the number of school resource officers. Programs that have been impacted include art, computers, music and band.
"The board really values their employee groups and the programs that have been built," Grant said. "We are just hoping to be able offer those same experiences to kids in a different manner.
The district held workshops to allow parents to give their input on the cuts and tell officials what programs the community most values, Grant said. Some programs and positions may be restored if the budget situation improves, Grant said.
Employee meetings will be held in the coming weeks to work out a potential rehiring process. Grant said it is still a teachers' market and that temporary teachers would be considered for future vacancies.
"We want to make it as easy as possible to rehire those temps," he said.
Paula King covers education in far East County. Reach her at 925-779-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.