Madera School District Formalizes Budget Cuts
MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Madera Unified School District has taken the next step in cutting its budget. On Tuesday night the Board formalized cuts, layoffs and a school closure given initial approval last month.
Their action came despite pleas from parents, teachers and students.
Parent Gina Alcott told the board; "If you all can sit there and say this is good and this is what we had to do, and that is everything we can do then you have failed."
The board formally approved more than $13-million dollars in budget cuts. They call for laying off more than 120 teachers and other employees, raising class sizes and closing one school.
Parents and teachers brought students from Dixieland School to plead their case to keep it open. Teacher Nancy Gage told the board; "They want you to know how important it is to keep Dixieland open so they can keep the tradition alive."
But tradition takes a back seat to the nearly half-a-million dollars closing the school and moving the students to other schools will save.
The trouble is, even with these cuts the actual school budget remains in limbo.
School District Spokesman Jake Bragonier said, "We're basing out multi-year projections off a state budget that doesn't exist. That's the quandary school districts in California are in. But that's the law and that's what we have to follow and that's what they are doing.
The real budget picture won't be known for a couple of months. It all depends on the state budget. There's a chance things could get better, but it's more likely that even more cuts will be coming.
madera, north valley, budget cuts, education, gene haagenson
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