By Ryan Hagen Staff Writer
Created: 05/26/2011 03:49:44 PM PDT

COLTON – Next year’s budget contains “surprisingly encouraging news” for Colton Joint Unified School District, the district’s main budget adviser said Wednesday at a special meeting of the school board.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised state budget, released May 16, would maintain the same per-student funding as the 2010-2011 school year. That compares to earlier plans that would have amounted to a $7.7million loss for the district, which prepared partly by laying off 72 teachers, counselors and nurses.

“Flat funding does not keep pace with rising costs, but it’s a lot better than reduced funding,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jaime R. Ayala said in his report.

Even with the restored funding, Ayala said the district is still deficit spending – by more than $7.8million per year if fully implements planned cuts and by nearly $11million per year if it implements only already-approved program cuts, furlough days for managers and some layoffs. And he said experts at School Services of California, an information and advocacy company, have told him districts should not change their plans until the Legislature approves the budget and Brown signs it.

But employees want to know who will get their job back – and when.

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