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Castaic district to dodge layoffs

Larger classes, furlough days could be on tap

Posted: June 19, 2009 8:19 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2009 10:00 a.m.
There are no plans to increase class sizes or lay off teachers in the Castaic Union School District for the 2009-10 fiscal year, but things could change in coming years, the district's superintendent said Friday.

"As we come into this budget, we don't have a deficit until the third budget year," Superintendent James Gibson said, referring to the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Board members will vote Monday on whether to adopt the 2009-10 fiscal-year budget, worth about $24 million.

To get through the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1, district officials have transferred money from restricted funds into the general fund, he said.

For example, the district anticipates transferring $1.7 million from the deferred maintenance funds. The district is not undergoing major construction on schools for the time being, which allows for the borrowing, he said.

But that doesn't mean the district hasn't faced reductions.

Gibson estimates an income loss of $3.7 million since 2007-08.

Laying off teachers, increasing class sizes and issuing furlough days are being discussed for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years.

"Anything we do is the in the second and third year," Gibson said. "Nothing will happen next year."

But if the economy turns around soon enough, the district could be saved from reductions in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years, he said.

Like other local school districts, Castaic Union is basing its 2009-10 budget on the state's budget for the same time period.

The district even moved its budget meeting to Monday in the hopes that a state budget would be ready by the original June 15 deadline, Gibson said.

Legislators did not pass a budget on time.

"It makes it difficult for all of us," Gibson said.


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