By Jeremy Los
March 11, 2011 (Alpine)--The Alpine Unified School District will face tough decisions when it comes to passing its annual budget. Like many other school districts, AUSD is facing a budgetary gap that could force the district to enforce deep cuts and increase class sizes. The preliminary budget was passed in February, with the official budget on the docket for June.
ECM has learned that many teachers have already received their pink slips, with one e-mail from a teacher stating that 40% of Joan McQueen Middle School’s staff had received the lay-off notices as of March 4. The district must issue lay-off notices prior to March 15 to comply with state law for any positions that may be cut this year.
According to an e-mail sent to parents, AUSD Trustee Glenn Dickie indicated that, “San Diego County Office of Education advised all school districts to plan for the worst-case scenario, which for AUSD means a budget gap of $1.7 million. “
He added, “In order to close this gap the district will look to cutting teaching positions throughout the district. As we draw nearer to the March 15 deadline for lay-off notices more and more individuals will learn the fate of their job.” In his e-mail, Dickie also states that the notices will be sent out first to those will the lowest amount of seniority.
While many teachers have already seen the rug pulled out from under them, the budget for the school district is still not set in stone. Concerned citizens have until June to voice their displeasure and/or ideas to the district.
The next board meeting is planned for 6:00 pm, April 7, at Alpine Elementary School. It is still unclear whether the board plans to discuss the proposed budget at this meeting and the district office was unable to provide confirmation yesterday.