Clovis Unified approves $10.8 million in cuts

Clovis Unified School District’s board is getting an early start on its budget for next year by making $10.8 million in cuts going into next July.

During a budget workshop Wednesday afternoon, the board learned the district will have a $19.8 million deficit going into next July.

The result will be larger class sizes, but Superintendent David Cash said the district is committed to no layoffs.

In its evening meeting, the board voted 7-0 to make the $10.8 million in cuts.

About $4.5 million is going to be saved because of the district’s early retirement incentive offered to employees. There were 115 employees who took the retirement bonus.

Another $2 million will be taken from the district’s flexibility programs, a category of optional spending the district can choose to conduct next year.

Other areas being cut include adult education programs, equipment and supplies. Also, there will be a reduction of administrative and management staffing at the district level.

Cash said some district-level employees are moving to school sites when necessary because the district wants to keep its emphasis on its schools and students.

To meet the remaining nearly $9 million, the district board considered about 85 options to reduce costs or increase revenue. Among the items examined were: a furlough day for all employees; changes in summer school; an across-the-board pay cut; and changes in employee benefits.

The projected deficit had been more than $16 million, but step raises required in the coming school year increase the deficit to $19.8 million.

Teachers and other labor groups have been continuously informed about the budget cutting, said LisaMarie Slater, president of the faculty senate, which represents the district’s 1,800 teachers.

“The key is that there has been a lot of communication throughout the process so none of this is a surprise,” she said.

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