The cuts the board preliminarily approved -- which it is required by law to plan for -- do away with class-size reduction and would eliminate 64 teachers, eight vice principals, approximately one position at the district office and 14 support staff members, including maintenance workers and secretaries.
The board's decisions this week authorize sending preliminary layoff notices to teachers who may not have jobs with the district this fall. Whether that -- or any of the others proposed cuts -- happens will depend upon whether the governor's budget proposal is accepted by lawmakers.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to help fill a $14.5 billion hole in the state budget next year by cutting 10 percent from departments across the board and suspending Proposition 98, which ensures a baseline of public funding for schools.
Board members, teachers and parents agreed the worst-case-scenario proposal for Pittsburg would have dire effects for students, many pointing to the larger class sizes that would result. First- through third-grade classrooms would swell from about 20 to 30 children, and classrooms at Pittsburg High would grow from an average of 24 students to 30.
Eliminating class-size reduction,
Board members again urged the more than 200 people in the audience at Pittsburg's Civic Center to contact their legislators and let them know the governor's budget proposal is unacceptable.
"I want them to feel the sense of urgency that was in this room tonight," trustee Ruben Rosalez said after more than two hours of discussion. Right now, he said, "they're not feeling it."