School District Faces $8.9 Million in Cuts

The financially strapped Montebello Unified School District must cut another $8.9 million, or about 9% of its budget, district officials said this week. Earlier this year, officials decided to lay off 150 employees, mostly teachers, to save $18 million.

School officials attributed the latest cuts, which were announced Tuesday, to a number of factors, including state auditors’ rejection of the district’s claims for reimbursement of earthquake repairs related to the October, 1987, Whittier quake.

In May, the state controller’s office put Montebello near the top of its list of 32 California school districts facing insolvency. Montebello school board member Eleanor Chow said that if the board does not balance the budget, “then the state will come in and take over, and they will do the chopping.”