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School board OKs $464K in cuts

Proposed cuts would eliminate teaching positions, more
By: Kathy Ito, Colfax Record Correspondent
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Colfax Elementary school board trustees unanimously approved plans to cut $464,055 from the 2011-2012 budget Monday night. Proposed cuts would eliminate three classroom teaching positions, the physical education program teacher, and the district’s principal position. Nursing, CORE support, and administrative services will also be reduced. The maintenance and operations director position topped the cut list. “How do we do this?” asked Pam Adams, Colfax Elementary third-grade teacher. “How do we deal without these services? What’s the plan?” Wayne Hughes, retired school custodian, also raised concerns about school cleanliness. “There are plans for each budget reduction to make it work,” said Superintendent Fred Adam. Specific plan details were not presented. Adam highlighted county deadlines and notification requirements for certificated staff. Placer County Board of Education gave the district until March 15 to submit a revised plan to meet the budget shortfall. State law requires that all school districts do preliminary notifications regarding layoffs to certificated staff members by March 15. Final layoff notices must be made by May 15. “We are taking action on approving a list to submit on how we intend to make this level of cuts,” said board president Michelle Gibbs. “This may not be the final list they are only projections at this point.” Both Adam and Gibbs reiterated the cuts are preliminary and can be changed between now and June when the budget is finalized. “Classified and certificated cuts could be rescinded depending on final budget numbers,” Adam said. Recommended budget cuts include the elimination of director of maintenance and operations, physical education teacher position, three multiple-subject teaching positions, after-school intervention program, GATE program, remaining teacher stipends, instructional software, district support of athletics, and one copier. Other recommendations include selling the district’s SUV, combining the principal and superintendent positions at principal salary, shortening the school year by five furlough days and using Gmail. Reducing nurse time, supplies, energy use, the district secretarial staff by a third, and the business manager position are also on the list of recommendations. In other business: • The board delayed action on tie-breaking criteria to reinstate laid off certificated employees with the same hire date. Trustees instructed Superintendent Adam and Association of Colfax Educators President Joan Griffin to collectively work on details. The resolution must be in place by May 15. • Trustees unanimously approved a new seventh- and eighth-grade family life curriculum.