FOUNTAIN VALLEY : Schools Plan Cuts to Ease '93-'94 Shortfall

The Fountain Valley School District is projecting a $577,000 budget shortfall for the 1993-94 school year and plans to make reductions in spending, services and programs to balance its budget, officials said this week.

Supt. Ruben L. Ingram told the Board of Trustees at Thursday's meeting that the district also hopes to come up with about $300,000 in savings in personnel costs, which are currently being negotiated with teachers and classified employees.

Because of the budget shortfall, trustees approved sending layoff notices to 101 classified employees whose positions could be discontinued or reduced next school year, said Marc Ecker, assistant superintendent of administration and business.

Those employees, the majority of whom are part-time personnel, include instructional classroom aides, bilingual tutors, office clerks and secretaries, food service drivers, and computer lab aides, Ecker said.

The district is proposing to reduce or discontinue the services of 35 classroom aides, plus nine bilingual tutors who assist Vietnamese-, Chinese- and Spanish-language students. In addition, notices will be given to 11 library specialists and 20 custodians.

"These are preliminary notices," Ecker said. "It doesn't mean they're going to lose their jobs."

Ecker said the district must give 30-day notices to these employees before the end of their work year.

"This is standard because we don't have any assurances of what our revenue from the state will be," he said.

Ingram also told trustees that the district has devised a three-part plan to overcome the projected budget deficit.

Ingram said the district could realize savings of up to $160,000 by freezing spending.

Reductions in discretionary programs could save the district about $110,000, Ingram said, adding these are programs "we can get along without."

The district could also save money by not funding $41,000 for technology purchases in the schools; not spending $50,000 for supplemental testing programs for students; and not funding $19,000 for training and staff development programs.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled June 10, with trustees expected to take action on a tentative budget June 24.

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