A glimmer of hope

CUSD releases some good news about the budget, but it’s only temporary

The Chico Unified School District’s 2009-10 budget was set to change from a “negative” status to a “qualified” status, pending the results of the March 24 school board meeting scheduled to occur shortly after the CN&R went to press on Wednesday.

According to a recent CUSD press release, $1.6 million of the proposed cuts for 2010-11 would include the elimination of two administrative positions—including one elementary principal—and a number of cuts to the special-education budget, leaving $9.4 million of additional cuts to be made to balance the budget over the next two years.

CUSD Assistant Superintendent for Business Jan Combes acknowledged that the budget-status upgrade would be only “very short-term” unless the district can show that it can make additional necessary cuts and have a budget reserve.

“By June, we’ll be right back in the ‘negative’ status,” said Combes, unless more major cuts are made, such as a reduction in CUSD teacher/staff salaries and benefits, and possible elimination of “regular ed” busing.