Money’s tight at CUSD

The same Chico Unified School District that last year gave generous raises to its teachers and other employees is now looking at serious budget problems. This isn’t exactly breaking news—in a June interview with CN&R Editor Evan Tuchinsky, newly hired interim Superintendent Kelly Staley mentioned a large projected shortfall—but the CUSD made it official last week.

In a press release, the district announced that the Butte County Office of Education had given the district only “conditional approval” of its 2007-08 budget. Initially the BCOE noted a shortfall of $1.1 million in the district’s reserve fund, but subsequent budget adjustments have reduced that to $400,000. More significantly, both agencies expect the district to be $2 million short in 2008-09.

The CUSD will schedule a board workshop in October to hear from stakeholders about how to find the dough. True or false: Teachers will offer to take cuts in pay.