In Effort to Avoid State Takeover, SCUSD Plans Major Cuts

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SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento City Unified School District took a step to avoid a state takeover by approving a plan that makes major cuts in administrative costs.

They include a salary freeze for administrators including its superintendent, a spending cap and doing away with cash payouts for vacation time that could save millions of dollars.

Up to 160 teacher positions would still have to be eliminated. The Sacramento City Teacher’s Association had insisted on cuts in administrative overhead months ago when a $35 million dollar shortfall came to light.

But it says the proposal is too little too late.

"I don’t think anyone’s saying what they’ve put out so far is enough so there's a lot more cuts that they are going to have to make," said SCTA President David Fisher.

The district is eyeing a possible $16 million in savings by having teachers going to a cheaper health insurance plan, something teachers agreed to in its current contract. But the union says the savings were supposed to go to increasing student services. They have also yet to agree to a specific plan.

“It’s a great option that would not hurt students. There are solutions on the table and we need to work together to achieve those,” district spokesman Alex Barrios said.

If the district does not approve a balanced budget by June, a state receiver could take over the district. A state loan would then be needed to fund the shortfall and servicing that loan would take more money from students.

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