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VENTURA : School Board OKs $57-Million Budget

The Ventura Unified School District, which last month approved $1.2 million in cuts because of a budget shortfall, has adopted a $57-million spending plan for fiscal year 1990-91.

District administrators had to make the cuts because of a proposal by Gov. George Deukmejian to trim state money for education, including lowering the cost-of-living increase for primary and secondary schools. The district has 25 elementary, middle and high schools.

The cuts include laying off 15 district employees, two of whom are popular assistant principals at the two high schools. Officials also initiated a hiring freeze and trimmed programs.

Richard Welcher, assistant superintendent of finance, said the Board of Education may have to cut back even further, depending on the state’s final budget. “We should know by Aug. 1 what we’re going to get,” he said.

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The district’s $1.2-million deficit was based on a 3% cost-of-living increase from the state instead of the usual 4.9%. Welcher said district officials are prepared to make even more cuts if the state’s final budget has a much smaller cost-of-living increase.

The district’s budget reflects a 6.9% increase in employee benefits, but shows a decrease in salaries, supplies and capital expenditures.


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