The Modesto City Schools board meets tonight to begin the layoff procedure for some 300 teachers, counselors, nurses and other certificated personnel, all in an effort to reduce the budget by $25 million for 2010-11.
Many of the agenda items have to do with budget reductions and budget assumptions. While the district is cutting teachers and counselors, it also is making plans for the expenses associated with opening Gregori High School in August. The one-time and first-year costs exceed $900,000.
Also on tonight's agenda is an item on whether to contract with a firm to poll voters on whether there is community support for a parcel tax to support the schools. The staff report suggests it could be placed before voters in the November election.
Even before they get to the grim budget news, the board will hear a report from staff about whether it is doing enough to improve scores at the high schools. District representatives appeared before the state Board of Education on the issue in January.
The regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the district board room, 425 Locust Ave. The board has another meeting scheduled -- on March 10 -- before its state deadline of March 15 to alert certificated staff that they may not be rehired for next year.
The Turlock Unified School District board, meeting Tuesday, also will consider sending layoff notices to teachers. A closed session begins at 5:30 p.m., with the regular meeting to start at 6:30. Turlock High School Performing Arts Building.
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, also will have some serious budget talks, including a forecast that the county workforce could be reduced by 300 or more employees for 2010-11. The county's budget decisions will unfold over the next several months because it does not face the same deadlines that school districts must meet in issuing layoff notices. Basement, Tenth Street Place.
The Modesto City Council, meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, has a relatively light agenda. It will consider appointments to the Comprehensive Fee Task Force; a contract with a Sacramento firm to install automated parking system at the city's three downtown garages and a plan to demolish the old Fire Station No. 2, near Modesto High School, and sell the property. Basement, Tenth Street Place.
Modesto's appointed Citizens Salary Setting Commission holds its first meeting of 2010 at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The salary commission recommended the amounts that went into effect in 2008 and it seems like the issue is coming up again very quickly. But the charter amendments approved by voters called for the commission to review the City Council's and mayor's salaries in the spring of every even-numbered year. Given the poor economy and the furloughs for many city employees, we would not encourage a pay raise for council members in 2010. Room 6709, Tenth Street Place.