CONCORD — The Mt. Diablo school board Tuesday cut about $2.6 million more from its 2009-10 budget, on top of $1.8 million it cut in December, totaling about $4.4 million on its way toward $6.6 million it intends to slash by Feb. 10, because of reduced state education funding.
Cuts included reducing contracted services for speech pathology, occupational therapy and nurses, in the hopes of attracting more staff positions. The board also cut the assistant director of maintenance and operations, an internal auditor, three special education teachers, 12.6 middle school teachers, 13.4 high school teachers, a classified training coordinator, a print shop operator and a typist.
In addition, the board voted to save $150,000 by providing transportation for 176 students now served by the county and to save $200,000 by creating a behavior management specialist position instead of hiring an outside contractor. The board will continue its budget cuts Jan. 27, as it looks for $2.2 million more in reductions.
But Superintendent Gary McHenry warned the district could face about $10.2 million in additional cuts this year, if the Legislature approves the governor's latest budget proposal, which would hack school funding by more than $300 per student. Even more alarming, McHenry said the district would face a $55 million deficit by June 2011 under the governor's plan, because it would drastically cut anticipated cost of living increases.
Board members urged the public to lobby legislators regarding the need for school funding and said the district will likely pursue a parcel tax to help reduce the need for future budget cuts.