Board hears laundry list of suggestions to close expected $7M shortfall
February 20, 2011 8:40 AM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Facing the prospect of a $7 million shortfall in the next school year, the Hesperia Unified School District is contemplating a wide variety of cuts, including laying off almost four dozen teachers.

“The rumors coming out of Sacramento are very discouraging, but they’re just that right now,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Services David McLaughlin told the school board at a budget workshop Thursday night. “Even if we make it through this year … the coming years are worse.”

Gov. Jerry Brown has said he does not intend to further cut public school funding in next year’s state budget, after years of deep cuts. But his plan is contingent on voters approving extensions of existing taxes this summer.

If they don’t — or the state Legislature doesn’t vote to even put the issue on the ballot — public school districts will be facing further cuts. In the HUSD, the Victor Valley’s largest school district and its single largest employer, officials expect to face a $7 million shortfall.

The board will have to approve a slate of cuts they’re willing to approve to send to the county superintendent of schools at its March 7 meeting.

Then comes March 15, the state-mandated deadline for telling any teachers that their services will not be required in the coming school year. School districts traditionally inform any teacher they might need to cut later on that they are at least tentatively pinkslipped.

Thursday night, McLaughlin and Superintendent Mark McKinney presented the board with a list of possible cuts for them to consider. The list includes programs being restructured, layoffs, pay freezes, pay cuts, additional furlough days and more.

To read more about the possible cuts, see the full story in Sunday’s Press Dispatch. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at