Contra Costa County

Teachers, Workers With East Bay School District Facing Layoffs

The West Contra Costa Unified School district is looking at a nearly $48 million budget shortfall, superintendent says

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Hundreds of teachers' jobs may be on the line as one major East Bay school district grapples with millions of dollars in budget cuts.

Leaders with Richmond's West Contra Costa Unified School District say they're staring at a nearly $48 million budget shortfall and are committing to $32 million in cuts this school year.

A lot of bad blood in Contra Costa County. A school district is facing a massive budget problem. As many as 250 teachers could be let go. So what happened? Jodi Hernandez reports.

Both the district and the teachers' union are trying to identify cost-cutting options, but union officials fear if none can be found, about 250 teachers may get pink slips and a total of 400 school workers could be laid off.

In a special message on the school district website, Superintendent Matthew Duffy indicated there's a plan in place that includes layoffs.

"Our solution for the 2020-21 school year includes $6 million in non-salary cuts, a $2 million reduction in unrepresented central management personnel costs, a $2 million decrease in discretionary funds given to schools and negotiating $22 million in reductions from our four bargaining units," Duffy wrote.

Duffy said the management cuts will be discussed at February school board meetings, but details of the preliminary negotiations with unions cannot be discussed.

Parents are worried on what the possible cuts will do to their child's classroom.

"I'm really concerned about the future of my daughter's education and as a parent it's stressful to think about what these cuts might do," parent Greg Crutsinger said.

The board has a special meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday and a regularly scheduled meetings at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday Feb. 26, according to the district calendar.

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