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Manteca Unified bracing for more cuts

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POSTED December 12, 2009 3:09 a.m.
The Manteca Unified School District is expecting more cuts down the road.

Jacqui Breitenbucher, the senior director of business service, said Tuesday that further reductions in education by the State of California won’t be known until January.

“Education is 50 percent of the state budget,” she noted.

For now, the district – under the first interim report unanimously approved by the board – showed it can meet its financial obligations for the remainder of this fiscal year and subsequent two years.

Administration was able to make ends meet by cutting back in services, staff, programs and employee compensation.

Gone, for example, is class size reduction for kindergarten- through third-grade students, and freshmen English and math classes.

The district cut back on staffing, reducing certificated by 19 percent (1,202 in 2008-09, to 1,103 in 2009-10), classified by 24 percent (797 to 641), supervisory by 24 percent (51 to 41) and administration by 29 percent (89 to 69).

“A large portion of our budget is tied to staffing,” Breitenbucher said.

According to the report put together by her staff, “many teachers were laid by off at the end of the year were reinstated due to the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds.”

Manteca Unified did experience unexpected growth. Included is a projected 144 ADA (average daily attendance) increase for this year.

“Our neighboring districts are declining (in enrollment),” she added.
Breitenbucher noted that the current numbers of slightly over 22,000, while an increase, are still below the 2006 figures of 22,500.

The future of education funding remains uncertain.

Manteca Unified is braced for double-digit declines for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.
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