Sylvan Union School District trustees will discuss several money-saving options at their meeting Tuesday night.
Topics include moving all schools to a traditional calendar, increasing class sizes and eliminating 48 positions, including elementary teachers, music and art teachers, a librarian and two counselors. No action is expected; trustees want to gather input from staff and parents.
The district must slice about $5 million from its $60 million budget.
The layoffs could save $1.5 million. More layoffs will come from the ranks of managers and classified employees, such as bus drivers, cafeteria workers and secretaries, Superintendent John Halverson said.
Class sizes would swell next school year as part of the budget plan. They increased from 20 students per room to 25. They'll go up again to a maximum of 32, saving an estimated $1.1 million.
The district enrolls about 8,000 students at 13 schools in northeast Modesto and parts of Riverbank.
Six schools are on traditional schedules, one is year-round and six are single-track, a modified traditional calendar that gives longer vacations around the holidays throughout the school year.
Moving all schools to a traditional calendar would require less busing and food service. It also would allow officials to close schools during breaks, saving about $100,000 on utility costs.
The district experimented with that idea during winter break, shutting off electricity to schools for two weeks. Energy bills were down $13,200 compared with last year, but that does not take into account the cost of repairs -- fixing leaks and security alarms -- that had to be made when power was turned back on.
Though $100,000 seems like small beans, Halverson said every dollar adds up.
"We don't have enough to get to that $5 million number yet, so we're not eliminating options. We're generating options," he said.
For details on budget-trimming ideas, visit the district's blog at sylvanconversations.blogspot.com.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339. Read her education blog at thehive. modbee.com/ExtraCredit.