San Diego

Vista Unified School District Trying to Shave $19M From Budget by 2020

The Vista Unified School District is in apparent turmoil it tries to find a way to cut $19 million from the budget by December.

Board trustee's met Thursday with some hard decisions to make in front of parents and employees eager to voice their frustrations.

Already facing a $14 million deficit, board members want to add another $6 million program and pay out more than a $250,000 to the superintendent who just resigned, Classified Staff Education Association (CSEA) Local 389 President Bill Faust said.

Around three dozen demonstrators showed up to the board meeting on behalf of the more than 1,400 classified support staffers in the district.

"We get them to school. We feed them. We provide tutoring. We clean up their classrooms,” Faust said.

CSEA members recently got a raise but fear some jobs would be cut to make up for the growing deficit. Faust said.

"Before you make a serious mistake, consider the consequences of your actions,” one parent told the board.

In earlier discussions the board said there would be no CSEA cuts, but there is more spending in the works. This year the district approved an 8th period for high school students at a cost of $5.9 million.

The board decided Thursday's to approve a $281,000 buyout of former superintendent Linda Kimble's contract. The buyout, plus the added school period, will drive the district’s deficit up to nearly $20 million, according to Faust.

Speakers at the meeting feared programs like music would be cut.

"I just think that would be such a horrible thing to happen here," Parent Mary Regan said.

A graduate who went through teen mothering classes at the school asked for that program to be saved.

"You don't know if they got pregnant because they wanted to or they went through a situation like I went through, but thanks to [teen mothering] I graduated from high school and I am proud of it," the speaker said.

Interim Superintendent Matt Doyle was named Superintendent by the board.

His first act was to eliminate the assistant superintendent and director of communications positions which, according to Doyle, will more than make up for the former superintendent’s buyout.

The board also voted to reduce legal fees, and restructure district administration which will eliminate some positions and get 10% of Magnet school funding back in the general fund.

The board's next meeting, and next round of cuts, is schedule for Nov. 4.

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