The Downey Unified School District plans to make $1.7 million in spending cuts before the start of the next school year to compensate for increased transportation and other costs, and reduced revenue from the state.
The positions of six teachers at four middle schools and two high schools will be eliminated next September for a savings of $210,000, Supt. Edward Sussman said this week. The instructors taught elective reading classes, which will no longer be offered. Specialized reading instruction will still be provided for special education students, he said.
The positions of two driver training teachers at Downey and Warren high schools also will be eliminated for a $100,000 savings. Beginning in September, students will have to enroll in private courses to obtain behind-the-wheel training.
All eight teachers will be reassigned to fill vacant teaching positions in the district, Sussman said.
The district also has imposed a hiring freeze and is studying whether to make cuts in its transportation program, among other things.
Health insurance and other fringe benefits for employees are costing the district an additional $700,000 this year, the largest new expense, Sussman said. In addition, the district is expecting to receive as much as $600,000 less in state lottery funds than last year because of reduced interest by lottery players.