EMPIRE -- Staff will take $2.4 million in budget cuts to Empire Union School District trustees for approval Thursday night.
The trimming covers all areas of the district, including teachers, counselors, maintenance, district administration and special education, and is equal to about 10 percent of the district's budget, Superintendent Bob Price said.
Declining student enrollment and a looming 10 percent reduction in state education funding for next year leaves Empire and most other districts struggling to make ends meet. Administrators are closing the gap through proposed cuts in staffing and by shifting people or responsibilities around.
In the cutbacks, six people may lose their jobs for next year -- a custodian, an account technician, three special education aides and a library/media services assistant.
Original plans to eliminate teachers have been erased through retirements, resignations and probationary terminations, Price said. The district will lose eight teachers, but that number corresponds to declining enrollment.
"The total is relative to the reduction in students," Price said. "We're decreasing in teachers without increasing class sizes. The staff is not needed anymore."
The district educates about 3,500 Empire and east Modesto students; officials expect a loss of 133 students and $767,000 in state funding next year.
The funding for many positions will now come from campus coffers instead of the district office general fund.
Instead of cutting two vice principals at Empire Union's two middle schools, each school decided to help fund the positions from their own budgets.
The trustees meeting is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the district office, 116 N. McClure Road, and is open to the public.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2339.