By Neil Nisperos Staff Writer
Created: 02/04/2011 09:04:33 PM PST

CHINO – The Chino Valley Unified school board Thursday approved $8.6 million over three years in further position and pay cuts, while deciding to delay other cost-shaving proposals for further consideration.

The school board, in closing a $28.5 million gap projected for the 2012-13 school year, has already cut $14 million in recent weeks.
Budget shortfall

The Chino Valley Unified school board is in the process of closing a projected $28.5 million shortfall by the 2012-13 school year.

Here’s some budget details:

Three-year deficit projection: $28.5 million

Approved cuts: $22.6 million

Remaining cuts to consider: $5.4 million

Among the savings:

$530,133 over three years for schools and supplies;

$195,694 over three years for a maintenance, operations and construction manager;

$194,006 over three years after reducing the pay of a maintenance supervisor;

$281,174 over three years for eliminating one classified director.

New cuts for next year include elementary typist clerks, elementary library media assistants, junior high school intervention counselors, career center guidance technicians, instructional aides, painters, a maintenance manager, a classified director, an electronics technician and sports stipends for coaches.

The district has received about $6 million in one-time federal education jobs funding to keep instructional aides, career counselors and school assistant principals for the next school year.

Board members said they hope to finally close the $28 million deficit gap by their next regular council meeting on Feb. 17.

Reduction in force, or temporary layoff notices, to teachers must be sent out by March 15, but district officials hope to notify employees of potential layoffs by late February.

The board decided to delay consideration of several line items, including a plan to centralize custodial services, delaying consideration of laying off groundskeepers as well as eliminating heating and air conditioning maintenance positions.

These tabled items will be further discussed at the board’s budget study session next week, which could provide a potential savings of about $1.5 million.

David Zoetemelk, a preventative maintenance technician who cleans and changes filters on the district’s air conditioning units, is among those at risk of losing his job.

“It may affect my life, but I’m more worried about the children’s lives,” Zoetemelk said. “It’s going to affect all the kids when our three technicians don’t have time to change filters, and it’s going to cost more to repair the units in the long run. There are 2,043 units, and I am the sole person who does the filter changes.”

Ray Mendoza, a security guard for Ayala High School in Chino Hills, said he is concerned about the reductions in the work year for his fellow officers and the impact it might have on school safety for students and staff.

The board will discuss further cuts at a budget study session at 5 p.m. Thursday at the district office, 5130 Riverside Drive.

No action will be taken at that meeting.

“It just keeps being drawn out,” Mendoza said. “There has to be cuts. I don’t think anybody’s going to debate that, but the difficult part for us is if they want to fool around with safety. That’s why we keep trying to bring up the same issues. We’re not only worried about the safety of students, but also staff.”

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