District Still Needs Nearly Two Million to Balance Budget

If unions refuse to accept furlough days, School Board may need to layoff as many as 25 teachers.

Written by DANNY TSANG / Published March 26, 2010

Facing a massive budget gap, the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) is waiting to hear from union representatives before making a decision to either increase class sizes or layoff as 21-25 teachers.

Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith urged the two undecided unions to agree to a salary step freeze and three furlough days during the Wednesday, March 10 school board meeting.

A salary step freeze would postpone any pay increases, while saving the District $440,000 per year, or $1.32 million over three years.

Furlough days would save the District $160,000 per day, or $480,000 per year.

The state of California requires all school districts to propose a budget for the next three years by March 15, and further mandates a reserve of 3 percent at the end of each fiscal year.

Right now, school officials have proposed two plans to filling a $4.44 million budget deficit.

One plan would create furlough days, three per year, for all district employees and enact a salary step freeze for teachers not already at the top of the District pay scale.

Another would reduce the class offerings in K-3 education and 9th grade Math and English classes, raising class sizes from 22 to 31 and 20 to 30, respectively.

Choosing the latter option would also result in the layoffs of around 21-25 teachers.

Layoff notices were being prepared, Karen Reed, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services, said at the previous school board meeting.

The School Board had already agreed on $1.48 million in savings on February 24.

“To put my money where my mouth is, I have decided to donate 25 dollars a month through Pay Pal,” School Board Member Joe Walker said Wednesday evening.

To raise money, the District has been engaging in creative practices. For example, the District has created business partnerships with the community to generate revenues from corporate sponsors. The District is now encouraging parents to donate online through PayPal.

At least $687 has been raised, according to Chief Business Official David Jaynes.

In addition, the District plans to work with Chevron to develop a plan to capture solar energy for the District’s power electrical appliances. District officials also are working on bringing a cell tower to the football field at Temple City High School.

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