Though negotiations with the school district’s certificated and classified staff unions continue, the Board of Trustees of the Bear Valley Unified School District still moved forward with budget cuts this week, as roughly $130,000 in expenditures will need to be eliminated from the district’s $23.5 million budget for school year 2009-2010. A number of suggestions had been culled from four public-attended Budget Advisory Committee meetings, though the Board ultimately went with suggestions offered by Superintendent Carole Ferraud. The committee had recommended that $10,000 in district conference funds be eliminated, though Ferraud stressed that the ongoing professional development of staff is essential to remaining on the cutting edge of sound educational practices. The committee and the superintendent did agree that $10,000–or 25%–of the fields improvement budget be reduced, and the Board agreed to, and adopted, that recommendation. Other cuts include the reduction of hours for three classified staff personnel at the district office, the elimination of the ROP assistant position at BBHS, the cut of two half-time classified positions at Big Bear High School and one instructional aide at Chautauqua, the reduction of a special education aide at Fallsvale Elementary (which has no special education students at this time), and a reduction in travel expenses for athletic programs: $7,500 from the $86,000 high school program, and $2,000 from Big Bear Middle School, which is half their budget for athletic travel. In addition to the high school athletic travel expenses cut, it was also agreed to eliminate $2,500 of the $23,000 high school athletic instructional materials budget, which basically eliminates the new uniform budget for next year. A reduction in Board of Trustees’ compensation was also approved by the Board, as was a one day furlough (as opposed to two as recommended by the BAC) for district’s management and confidential staff. However, these agreed-upon cuts may be a moot point if expenses can be reduced in other ways, pending negotiations with BVEA and CSEA unions. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 12:15pm at the school district offices on Moonridge Road.