'Not the time to cut corners': Custodial supervisor in Palo Alto faces job cut amid pandemic

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Schools across the state could face large education budget cuts and that could mean layoffs or furloughs to come.

The Palo Alto Unified School District has six positions on the chopping block. One of them is the district's custodial supervisor.

The person in charge of organizing the cleaning, something that could be considered important with COVID-19.

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Custodial supervisor Elizabeth Cardoso of the Palo Alto Unified School District is making a desperate plea to save her job. It's one of six recommended for elimination and one focused on keeping schools clean.

"Don't cut corners at this time because it's not the time to cut corners because it's vital and people's lives are at risk right now," says Cardoso.

California is facing an education shortfall in the billions of dollars next year. This means the recommended job cuts that have been announced in Palo Alto could be seen in other districts going forward.

Cardoso manages Palo Alto custodians at 17 school sites in the district. She believes her position would become even more important next school year - One where we may see older students rotating 'at school' days and an even bigger priority when it comes to cleaning K through five schools.

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"I think about the elementary school students that's the vulnerable community, they're little kids they're not gonna keep their masks on their kindergartners first graders. We have to make sure those sites are 'spic and span' as they say."

The superintendent of Palo Alto Unified says they have difficult decisions to make going forward. The six recommended cuts would save the district close to a million dollars.

However, Cardoso says in the last two years there have been cleaner classrooms due to much of the training that she has helped put into place.

"We went from a stage 2 to a stage 4 which means we were bringing up the hygiene of the schools," she said.

The custodian's union representatives in Palo Alto tell us that at this point no normal custodian jobs are on the chopping block. They also say that at this point there are no plans to add positions either.

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