East Bay School District OKs $8M in Cuts; Possible Teacher Layoffs Loom

The West Contra Costa Unified School District is facing a nearly $48 million budget shortfall

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Trustees with the West Contra Costa Unified School District approved $8 million in cuts Wednesday night, but it's not yet clear if teachers will be laid off.

It was just the first round of cuts to balance a $47 million budget deficit over the next two years. It wasn't clear exactly where the initial cuts will be made, but the board talked about cutting back in nonessential areas such as music, travel for administrators, food and campus police at middle schools.

About 250 teachers are waiting to hear if their jobs will be affected, and it appears they won’t find out until March 15. That’s when by law the district must notify teachers and other workers of layoffs.

Teachers with less than 2 years on the job are the most vulnerable.

"The cuts will be changing the way we effect the classroom experience without significantly degrading the classroom experience to our students," the district said in a statement.

The district is made up of 32,000 students.

The board also voted to change the name of the current Wilson School to Michelle Obama Elementary, saying the name reflects the school’s core values.

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