Calaveras Unified Faces Financial Crisis, Tough Decisions

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The Calaveras Unified School District needs to cut $1.8 million from its 2015-2016 school year budget with a deadline of Sept. 2 or face the possibility of a state take over.

The district has been tapping into its reserve revenues for years, but that money is quickly running out, and school closures seem eminent.

"We've been using the reserve funds for about six years now, we held off on making cuts as long we could, but we can't do that any more," CUSD Superintendent Mark Campbell said.

Lower enrollment and decreasing state funding are to blame. The decision, however, is which schools to shut down.

The district has three larger elementary schools - Rail Road Flat, West Point and Mokelumne Hill. Closing all three would save around $460,000 annually.

Another option would be to shut down Toyon Middle School for 7th and 8th graders.

Proposals of creating a 30-1 student-to-teacher ratio is also being  recommended, as well as the termination of arts and athletic programs in an effort to pinch every penny.

District officials will meet once again to discuss the topic Tuesday evening and then again on Saturday.


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