Mt. Diablo School District approves cuts

March 4, 2009 6:04:25 PM PST
School districts across the Bay Area are cutting their budgets at record levels. On Wednesday night, Vallejo, in Solano County, will make some tough decisions. On Tuesday night, Contra Costa County made even more drastic cuts.

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Novato, Solano and Contra Costa County may have to lay off a combined 300 teachers before the upcoming fall semester. The problem will be what will happen if even more cuts are needed.

"This is a devastating cut to our students, it's a devastating budget cut for our school district," said Paul Strange, V.P. Mount Diablo school board.

The Mt. Diablo school board approved $8 million more in budget cuts to go along with the $22 million it's approved over the past two years. Ninety-eight teachers will be notified of possible dismissal, programs will be severely cut.

"We were forced to cut 4th grade music from our programs, eliminate all of our high school athletics, all of our vice principals in middle and high school levels, and librarians at the middle and high school levels," said Strange.

Pleasant Hill Middle School parent and PTA member Dodie Martz had this reaction:

"Cuts have to be made across the board, the jobless rate is near 10 percent, and it's not something we look forward to, but it's probably something we have to do," said Martz.

In May, California voters will be asked to approve the spending measures which support the state budget. If all five pass, and Mt. Diablo Unified School District residents that same day approve a $99 parcel tax by a two-thirds majority, some of the cuts approved will go away. If they're not approved, more cuts are likely.

In addition to all that, the West Contra Costa County School District has its own set of problems. There will be a meeting held about redistricting - for more information please click here.

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