The financial situation for Denair Unified School District is going from bad to worse, as the updated budget was revealed on Thursday.
The district’s balanced budget was rejected by the Stanislaus County Office of Education this week. Denair will be given one last attempt to fix its budget within the next 45 days with a four percent reserve. If the district fails to come up with a fixed budget on its own, the county will step in and impose a budget.
“This isn’t good,” said county appointed financial expert Terri Ryland. “We’re not in a good place. You can’t meet your obligations for the current year or the next. It’s a very serious step and we need to take it seriously.”
According to the district’s revised budget, DUSD must cut $934,367 from its budget in order to be solvent and maintain a minimum reserve this year.
The district took another hit in recent weeks by losing its case regarding August teacher layoffs. An administrative judge ruled against the district, and in favor of the Denair Unified Teachers Association. The layoffs will be discussed in further detail in an emergency meeting slated to be held on Monday.
In addition, 11 out of the 80 qualified teachers left this summer and found other teaching jobs outside the district. The loss of nearly a dozen teachers will give the district a gain of approximately $1 million.
“Fourteen percent of qualified teachers want to leave our district. What does that tell you?” said high school math teacher Jamie Pecot. “I feel a little embarrassed to work for this district and I don’t want to feel that way.”
The district has not yet reached an agreement with bargaining units of the teachers and support staff unions on the mandated 3.5 percent cut from salaries. Teachers have been asked to take a total of nearly 11 percent in cuts.