The Sunnyside Unified School District will not cut elementary school physical education teachers to help close its budget gap.

The Governing Board agreed Tuesday night that it will spare the physical education teaching positions, and instead look for another way to close the remainder of a budget deficit projected to range from $3.2 million to $4.6 million.

No decision on what will be cut is expected until April 9. The board canceled its March 26 meeting because of spring break.

Still to be decided are the fates of the Ocotillo Early Learning Center, middle school truancy officers, library clerks, and other programs and positions.

District officials recommended cutting 13 elementary school PE teachers but rescinded that recommendation at Tuesday's meeting.

"Right now, as we looked into physical education classes, we just decided to look for cuts elsewhere," Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo said.

Board members already voted to cut 18 teacher positions, shut down its Family Resource and Wellness Center and reduce overtime pay for off-duty police officers by 25 percent, as well as other cuts, at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Those cuts will save the district almost $3 million.

The district will look to cut another $1 million.

Board member Buck Crouch recommended postponing the rest of the decisions until April, which the board approved unanimously.

Crouch didn't want to keep delaying the decisions, but wanted to look at the "big picture" while studying the potential cuts, he said after Tuesday's meeting.

The Governing Board will have two study sessions before the March 12 and April 9 meetings to evaluate the impact of proposed cuts before deciding to eliminate or reduce any programs or positions.

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Contact reporter Jamar Younger at or 573-4115. On Twitter: @JamarYounger