Teachers could be laid off in the Coalinga-Huron Unified School District to remedy an unexpected budget deficit that may total up to $3 million.
Superintendent Helen Foster said Wednesday that the southern Fresno County district, which enrolls about 4,500 students, is considering an undetermined number of layoffs in response to the unexpected shortfall, but hopes that doesn’t have to happen.
“We’re trying to do right by our employees because without them we’ve got nothing,” Foster said. “This is a horrific thing to do, and we’ve been working to see if we can figure out some other way to do this without laying off people.”
Foster said that the deficit could be much smaller than $3 million – a number proposed by district officials in December that she says “came as a complete surprise.” Since then, the district has hired a financial consultant to review the budget.
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“Our concerns have been that our budget information wasn’t rock solid. There were errors in the budget,” she said. “We feel very uncertain of what our budget numbers were.”
Foster said if there are layoffs, seniority would be considered, and “the last hired would be the first to go.” The district would first issue notices, though, that would terminate teachers on probation, whether for lack of credentials or wrongdoing.
The school board will discuss the matter at a special meeting Tuesday.