With a $51 million budget deficit, it's not a matter of whether cuts will be made, but whom they hurt, Trustee Ellen Addonizio told a Mission Viejo crowd Thursday night.
The trustee said about 400 pink slips were sent out this year warning teachers they could lose their jobs. She expects 170 teachers to actually lose their jobs next school year.
In related financial news, Addonizio said she found out June 11 that the requested a special state waiver to make payroll this month.
Now the only question is how to cut the budget, she said. Addonizio favors reducing teacher salaries and avoiding school furlough days, saying that teacher salaries can be restored, but lost school days never will be.
The trustee says she expects eight new furlough days next school year if and 18 new furlough days if the voters balk.
Addonizio and her frequent voting companion Sue Palazzo often find themselves on the losing end of a 5-2 vote. Both attended the June 21 meeting of the Saddleback Republican Assembly, which drew a crowd of about 40 inside the .
Mission Viejo city council members and also attended.
The reason for the current financial crisis, Palazzo said, was that the current board relaxed austerity measures 18 months ago, including and . Now, she says, the district is paying the cost for failing to plan for the future.
"There was no plan put in place," she said. "For the last 18 months, we've been lurching along."
When asked for specifics about the budget, Addonizio suggested there is special information available to majority voters that she is not privy to.
"I'm not on the inside track," she said. "I'm a minority board member."
Addonizio was asked to name the CUSD trustees who vote with the teachers union. She then named each of the other trustees: Gary Pritchard, Lynn Hatton, John Alpay, Jack Brick and Anna Bryson.