SCHOOL EMPLOYEES GET RAISES: The Modesto City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to give teachers, managers and classified staff a 3.5 percent pay hike for the current school year. But in light of Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposal to cut state education funding, the district has reserved the right to take back 1 percent of the raise in July. "I think we ended up with a pretty good compromise," Chris Flesuras, associate superintendent of human resources, said before the meeting. "If everything the governor proposes comes through, it gives us a bit of a cushion." A worst-case scenario in Modesto might require $8 million in cuts for next year, Flesuras said. The 1 percent salary cut would save the district $2 million, he said. "I'm not completely satisfied with the agreement, but I think it's about as good as we could have expected," Barney Hale, executive director of the Modesto Teachers Association, said before the meeting. "Until public education quits being a political football, it's going to be harder and harder to negotiate contracts."