The TUSD Governing Board unanimously agreed Tuesday night to cut away nearly $6 million in central office, district administration and department staffs.

The cuts were the first approved by the board that impact areas outside of schools. Until now, the board had approved the closure of 11 campuses and adopted funding changes that affect teachers, librarians, counselors and school administrators.

All of the cuts combined will generate a savings of approximately $14 million - about $3 million short of Tucson Unified School District's total $17 million deficit.

"We are working to keep the cuts as far away from students as possible, but it is inevitable that they will be impacted because the vast majority of our employees work with children," said Governing Board President Adelita Grijalva.

Though the cuts approved Tuesday varied by area, the district worked to come up with cuts of between 5 and 11 percent for most of the affected departments. But some will be reduced more, including the Governing Board's budget, which will be trimmed by 18.5 percent.

The largest cut is to operations, with a reduction of $2.1 million. Details of how many employees or what services will be affected were not available.

Another major hit was to exceptional education, which will be reduced by $1.7 million and lose at least 17 positions, which were not identified.

At least 30 positions will be eliminated, not including an as-yet unidentified number of jobs to be cut from operations.

Some of the other cuts approved include:

• In technology services, three positions were eliminated for a savings of $148,000.

• In secondary leadership, a science specialist and literacy specialist will be eliminated, along with a secretary, for a savings of more than $117,000.

• Elimination of a research project manager in the accountability and research department for a savings of $69,915.

• $56,000 will be cut from the Governing Board office.

• For elementary schools, a director will be reduced to 0.8 of a full-time position and a part-time secretary will be eliminated for a savings of nearly $50,000.

• The elimination of an administrative staff position in communications and media outreach for a savings of $38,489.

• 5 percent will be cut from the superintendent's budget for a savings of $27,000.

In approving the reductions, the board did stipulate that it reserves the right to make deeper cuts in the future if necessary.

Other options still under consideration include furloughs, outsourcing various functions, salary reductions and increasing health-care premiums, among other possibilities.

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Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea or 573-4175.