Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 01/23/2010 06:07:17 AM PST

UPLAND – The Upland Unified School District is now looking to cut $15 million over the next two years should Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s current budget proposal stick.

The figure is an increase of $2.6 million from last week when school officials estimated that the projected cuts would be about $12.4 million.

A negative cost of living adjustment and adjusted revenue from daily average attendence contributed to the increase.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented his budget Jan. 8, pledging to protect education funding, which means no mid-year cuts, a fully funded COLA and guaranteeing the set minimum for school funding through Proposition 98.

However, funding through COLA and Prop 98 will be much lower than in past years.

Superintendent Gary Rutherford on Thursday presented the budget to a small group of parents as part of two scheduled town hall meetings.

Various cuts have been considered, Rutherford said. They include about $6 million in cuts at the administrative level and $2.3 million that the Board of Trustees would have to approve. The rest of the cuts would come through negotiations with employee groups.

Increasing K-3 class size and, therefore, laying off about 23 teachers is one option that does not excite parent Kris Gooding.

“I personally am willing to give on everything except for class size just because I don’t think they’d be doing our children a service to cut back on education,” Gooding said. “My child is in kindergarten, so I see what a larger class size would be. I don’t think the teachers really could handle 30 kindergartners in a classroom at a time.”

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