10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Two alternate proposals to cut $18 million for 2009-10 in Corona-Norco schools would either have all employees take five furlough days or lay off an estimated 280 people.

Corona-Norco Unified School District Superintendent Kent Bechler gave both proposals to the board Tuesday but said he won’t ask the board to vote on the cuts until February.

The district is negotiating with the Corona-Norco Teachers Association and California School Employees Association for furlough days.

If the reduced work year is approved, it would save $8 million and “eliminate the need for any layoffs,” Bechler said.

Employees’ leaving voluntarily and through an early-retirement offer would save $5.5 million in Proposal B, which features 175 student days instead of 180.

Under Proposal A, the district would lay off 205 full-time teachers in kindergarten through third grade to save $5 million.

That plan also includes cuts totaling $1 million from administration costs; $1 million from custodial, maintenance and clerical staff; $2 million from counseling; $1.1 million from resource specialist instructional assistants; $350,000 from high school head security officers; and more than $3 million from “secondary staffing.” That category can include elementary school band teachers, librarians, student advisers and larger class sizes.

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