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TUSD faces grim budget decisions

POSTED April 13, 2012 10:03 p.m.

The Turlock Unified School District's Budget Advisory Committee is scheduled to present a list of five budget reduction recommendations to the Board of Trustees at Tuesday's regular meeting.
The Board of Trustees gave the BAC a target reduction of $2.75 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year or $3.4 million spread equally over three years beginning in 2012-13. This dollar amount was set in anticipation of the Governor Jerry Brown's budget and should tax increases fail to pass or reach voters.
All but one of the five recommendations is subject to negotiation with TUSD's teacher and classified unions. That one recommendation is to reduce school resource officer staffing. Currently, there are two officers and the reduction would create one full-time officer shared between school sites - primarily Pitman and Turlock high schools.
Two of the other four recommendations include the elimination of a health insurance cash pay-out to certificated and classified employees. Currently, teachers and staff receive a specific dollar amount for medical, dental or vision insurance each year. If the employee does not use the entire amount of money allocated they can receive a cash out of the remaining balance. The BAC recommends the board eliminate that payout for all current employees and new employees, which would equal a savings of about $1.95 million dollars.
The biggest cost saving measure of the recommendations is the reduction of salaries and/or benefits by 1.5 percent each year for the next three years for a cumulative total of 4.5 percent. The potential savings would be about $1.14 million per year and over three years the savings would total more than $3.43 million.
One other recommendation includes a freeze in step increases, including longevity for all employees. This would save $803,000.
The health cap eliminations, pay reduction and freeze in step increases are all subject to negotiation with TUSD teacher and staff unions.
The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Professional Development Center, 1100 Cahill Ave.

 

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