TUSD board OKs cuts to school staff, other jobs

2013-01-30T11:41:00Z 2013-01-30T13:58:24Z TUSD board OKs cuts to school staff, other jobsBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 30, 2013 11:41 am  • 

The Tucson Unified School District will move forward with cutting assistant principals, counselors, librarian assistants, human resource workers and other positions in an effort to close a $17 million budget gap.

TUSD will also increase class sizes by one student for fourth-through-12th grades. That could affect teachers, but it wasn’t clear how many positions would be lost.

The board voted 4-1 to approve the measures late Tuesday during a special meeting that ended at 11 p.m., one hour later than most meetings.

Board member Kristel Ann Foster cast the lone dissenting vote.

The cuts are expected to save the district an additional $10 million.

The governing board also unanimously voted to allow the district to examine the option of outsourcing human resources and other services such as payroll, transportation, ground maintenance and custodians in an effort to save more money.

TUSD has not identified how many positions it will cut, said Yousef Awwad, the district’s chief financial officer.

Instead, the district revised the funding formula that calls for a certain number of assistant principals and librarian assistants at each school.

The new formula means that less of those positions will be authorized for each school.

It is also possible that some of those workers, such as assistant principals, could take other jobs within the school district, Awwad said.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first time that district administrators presented specific recommendations for closing the remainder of the budget deficit.

Last month, the TUSD governing board approved the closing of 11 schools, but the closures would only reduce the deficit by $4.2 million.

The remaining deficit forced the school district to mull other options, many of which were discussed and approved Tuesday night.

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