What to cut?

CUSD administrators calculate the possibilities

As part of their worst-case-scenario approach to the 2004-05 state budget, administrators in the Chico Unified School District are recommending that the school board cut $4 million over the next two years.

The administrators have developed 23 potential areas from which to cut as much as $6,051,702, assigning an estimated dollar amount in savings to each of them in descending order.

“We’re going to continue to push, as we did last year, toward some sort of equitable distribution of the pain,” Superintendent Scott Brown said. The fact that the CUSD must send employees notices of potential layoffs as early as March 1 “plays into the theory that we’re over-noticing people,” he said. “If we’ve been conservative and we’ve planned for the worst case and the worst case doesn’t materialize, I’d think we’ve done our jobs and people will be pleasantly surprised, as opposed to the diametric opposite of that.”

Here is the list, sure to draw tears and anger in the coming weeks.

Potential cut estimated savings
1. Eliminate counselors $1,000,000

2. Reduce junior high schools to a 5-period day* $695,000

3. Eliminate district contribution to athletics $460,000

4. Close the 3 rural schools: Cohasset, Nord and Forest Ranch $436,650

5. Consolidate 13 “larger” elementary schools $425,000 per school closed

6. Eliminate air-conditioning $444,000

7. Eliminate health aides $381,000

8. Reduce travel expenses by 50% $350,000

9. Increase fees from facility use† $268,000

10. Reduce contract services by 10% $250,000

11. Further reduce nurses, psychologists and librarians $200,000

12. Reduce secondary site administration $195,984

13. Shift costs (i.e. Associated Students fund own accounting) $164,944

14. Further reduce custodial services $161,148

15. Reduce technology support $100,034

16. Eliminate secondary activity directors $97,186

17. Eliminate instructional aides from general fund $90,971

18. Eliminate elementary year-round education $79,550

19. Eliminate secondary department chairs (faculty stipends) $69,686

20. Reduce clerks at Chico and Pleasant Valley highs $62,824

21. Charge student bodies for vending machine electricity $59,500

22. Reduce District Office clerks $38,550

23. Reduce District Office custodial staff $21,675

* This would essentially eliminate elective courses.

† The Chico Area Recreation District and others pay the CUSD for using gyms and other space.