At the final Budget Advisory Committee meeting of the Bear Valley Unified School District, committee members established potential cuts for the 2009-2010 school year to be presented to the Board of Trustees for review on, now, February 23. The February 12 budget meeting began with a prepared statement written by Superintendent Carole Ferraud, addressing the difficult task set before the Budget Advisory Committee, although the School Board will make the ultimate decision. With approximately 85% of the school budget dedicated to salaries, keeping budget cuts away from employees–and ultimately the students–is a hard thing to do. However, Ferraud stated, the school district is working closely with the two employee unions and believe they have a method that will create enough flexibility in the current year to allow them to move the huge cuts that must be made to the 2010-2011 school year, in essence, deferring the cuts. Deferring $546,608 now will buy the district time to work with school stakeholders and the community toward resolutions that will, hopefully, avoid making cuts to people and programs that affect students. Due to the fact that the district had a 12.5% fund reserve balance going into the current school year, the district is in a position to now spend some of the fund reserve as part of the solution to budget reductions. Ms. Ferraud also made a plea to the community to increase student attendance since the school district receives money for every day that a student attends class. Bear Valley Unified School District lags behind the Average Daily Attendance for the state of California. Reducing the 2009-2010 budget cuts from $673,000 to $126,392 resulted in the suggestion of the Budget Advisory Committee to reduce expenses in the areas of district conferences, fields improvement, high school athletic travel, and high school athletic instructional materials. Potential cuts suggested by the committee regarding staff included eliminating one school assistant, one instructional aide, one district classified position, and the reduction of hours for selected district office personnel. Additionally, it was agreed that management personnel furloughs of two days a year could be implemented, as well as a reduction in Board of Trustees’ compensation. Although an agreement between BVUSD and employee unions BVEA and CSEA may still eliminate the need for these cuts, the Budget Advisory Committee needed to establish a plan in the interim. District staff will present suggestions to the Board of Trustees on Monday, February 23, so they can begin the difficult task of establishing the budget cuts needed.
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