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Hollister School District to cut 33 staff members

HOLLISTER, Calif. (KION-TV)-- To address a $6 million budget deficit the Board of Trustees approved 33 staff cuts in a March 3 meeting.

The Hollister Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to eliminate 15 classified positions, 4-1 to eliminate 15 certificated positions, and 5-0 to eliminate 3 administrative roles. 

The cuts will save the school around $3.3 million and are not projected to impact essential school operations according to Hollister School District Superintendent Erika Sanchez.

All implemented programs are positive for students however it has become clear that we can not afford all of our programs.  All staff are essential for our students base and supplemental programs; however, it has become clear that we can not afford all of our compensation costs which make up 93% of our total budget.  To address our structural deficit we must make reductions to personnel versus reductions to one-time expenses. Our budget has demonstrated variability from one business cycle to the next for the last 15 months.  Our upcoming budget cycle, Second Interim which is a snapshot of expenditures and revenues - will be very telling.  Second Interim is due on or before March 15th and will demonstrate whether or not the district is able to meet its financial obligations and is making progress towards stabilizing its structural deficit.

Erika Sanchez

The school district said that the budget cuts are district-wide and will include all schools, as well as, the District Office.

The cuts include:

  • Seven Rigorous Independent Studies Education (RISE) teachers
  • Six custodians
  • Five physical education teachers
  • Four technology support specialists
  • Two assiastant principals
  • One intervention teacher
  • One school nurse
  • One school psychologist
  • One lead maintanaince specialist
  • One transportation driver
  • One lead custodian
  • One translator
  • One attendance liason
  • One human rescources analyst

The remaining $2.7 million will come from salary movements to certified staff.

"The $2.7 million in salary movement from unrestricted resources to restricted resources is a one-time shot in the arm for immediate, and one-time alleviation of the structural deficit," Sanchez said. "This will help cover salaries for classified and certificated staff for now." 

Of the positions being cut, 28 are currently filled and five positions are currently vacant or projected to be vacant by the end of the school year.

Sanchez said the cuts are district wide and will include all schools, including the District Office.

Shawna Devincenzi is looking to send her son to school in the Hollister School District next year. The changes are a concern for her. 

“I think it's really unfortunate that we are that short in funds,” said Devincenzi. “I think we should put our children as a priority especially after the last two years of dealing with the pandemic. It's been pretty scary for our kids. they've been very isolated.”

Devincenzi is especially disappointed to hear about some of the cuts to PE teachers.

“I think it's huge that kids have multiple teachers,” said Devincenzi. “They go out and they have a teacher that only specializes in physical education and somebody different for our children to look up to.”

Devincenzi said her son is not yet registered in the school district, but she is keeping the changes in mind.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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