Clovis Unified to restore 2% pay cut, vice principal jobs

The Fresno BeeApril 11, 2012 

A 2% salary cut that hit all Clovis Unified School District employees last year will be restored in July, district trustees decided Wednesday.

Trustees also voted to restore the jobs of 15 former vice principals who were moved to teaching positions last year in budget cuts.

The district will keep three furlough days on the calendar for the next school year, continuing a 1.5% pay cut for employees. Class sizes also will increase, in part because the vice principals will leave classrooms and not be replaced, said district spokeswoman Kelly Avants.

Last year's 2% pay cut was made to prepare for an expected $10 million state funding drop. Instead, $2 million was cut, bolstering the district's reserves. The district's annual general fund budget for 2012-13 is about $290 million.

Officials decided that the extra cash should go to employees, not the reserves, Avants said: "Our administration and governing board said, 'It's not fair to the people who are doing great work for our students.' "

Restoring 2% in pay will cost about $3.8 million.

Employee Dan Faria, vice president of the 600-member California School Employees Association unit in Clovis, said he hopes district voters, who will decide the fate of a bond measure on June's ballot, do not get the wrong idea about the pay reinstatement.

He said the governing board and administration promised employees their pay would be restored.

"We haven't had a raise in a long time," he said. "We are just asking for our money back."

Returning vice principals to elementary schools will cost about $1.5 million. The district last year moved about half its elementary school vice principals to other jobs. Remaining vice principals covered two schools each.

Class sizes will rise an average of one to two students, Avants said, which will save about $3.4 million in teaching salaries.

"Class sizes will be comparable to everywhere else in the state and locally," she said.

Other cuts include $1.1 million in deferred maintenance, $596,000 in administration positions and $2.8 million from adult education.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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