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Tue, Feb. 25

Chino schools RIF 6 teachers, 1 administrator, 1 district director

CHINO VALLEY - Cutting teachers, school and district staff, and other costs from the next school year budget is just as painful this time around as cuts were three years ago, Chino Valley school administrators say.

The Chino Valley Unified School District board voted Wednesday night for a reduction in force (RIF) of six teacher positions, a school administrator, and a district director. In addition, the district will not renew one teacher position.

The board also approved Superintendent Duane Noggle's recommendations for cutting other costs, such as closing unused classroom space at three of the four schools in the district to save utility expenses and janitorial costs, as well as increasing the number of students in each class, and salary adjustments.

"It's not any easier (than in 2008)," Noggle said after the meeting. "You 'do what you gotta do' and get more creative."

With the cuts, the district will save nearly $750,000. The district's biggest reason for the cuts is decreased student enrollment, about 160 students from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2011 and still dropping, Noggle said, at its four schools - Chino Valley High School, Heritage Middle School, Territorial Elementary School and Del Rio Elementary School.

Positions eliminated for the 2011-2012 school year will be three teachers at Territorial, one teacher and an administrator at Heritage Middle School, one teacher at CVHS, one teacher at Del Rio and one director at the district office. Also, the district will not renew the contract of a special education teacher at Del Rio.

In addition, the three schools that will close up classrooms by the next school year are building B at Territorial, the northeast set of classrooms at Del Rio's campus, and the 700's pod at Heritage.

Classroom size will increase from 20 to an average of 25 students in kindergarten through second grades, and from 30 to 35 students per classroom in the other grades. Noggle said that's still less than the state average of 37-38 students per classroom for grades not including K-2.

In 2008, the board sent RIF letters to 227 school employees - 96 teachers and 131 classified employees. About a month later, after the district was able to more accurately determine its expenses and revenues, district officials offered contracts to 94 of the teachers. Also, district officials considered a four-day school week with longer school hours to save money by reducing utilities and other expenses by closing schools on Fridays. The district held public hearings about the four-day school week, which many parents and community members were against. One big objection was that parents who worked would need to find daycare for their schoolchildren on Fridays. After implementing the four-day school week the fall of 2008, however, schools reported many families were happy with the change, because of benefits such as being able to take children to doctor or dentist appoints on Fridays. School sports teams still have games on Fridays.

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