SALIDA — Tuesday's special board of education meeting might be a battle between Salida Elementary School supporters and Mildred Perkins Elementary School fans.
Salida Union School District leaders are preparing for $3.25 million in budget cuts for next school year and one of the two elementary campuses likely will be closed.
Superintendent Doug Baughn said officials are zeroing in on Perkins and Salida elementaries because they have the fewest students — 397 and 468, respectively — and other schools have more room to take in additional students from a closed site. Perkins and Salida are the district's oldest schools.
The district enrolls about 2,900 students.
A closure would save about $400,000, but some parents, students and staff will argue over which one should go.
Baughn assembled an advisory budget committee of about 20 parents, principals, teachers, staff and administrators, and they have met three times in less than two weeks. The committee's recommended spending cuts will be presented to trustees at Tuesday's meeting.
"The process has been emotional, because our community cares about our schools," Baughn said. "We're getting beyond the emotion and looking at the best interests of the district to remain fiscally solvent."
Estimated cuts increased
Earlier estimates tagged the district's budget cutting at $2.4 million, but officials raised the amount to $3.25 million to factor in more spending cuts from Gov. Schwarze- negger's January proposal.
The Salida community is reeling at the prospect of cutting 12.5 percent of its $26 million budget and a miscalculation that added $760,000 to the district's financial struggles.
The meeting will include a presentation by the Salida Teachers Association, but that could be tabled until a future meeting, said union co-President Tom Wright, who wouldn't divulge the topic of the presentation.
Tuesday's meeting will start at 5 p.m. in the Sisk Elementary School cafeteria, 5337 Sugar Creek Lane. The meeting will be open to the public and will include time for comments from community members.