Another round of job cuts is on the way in the Napa Valley Unified School District, which has downsized its staff over the past year amid budget concerns and falling enrollment.
Board members last week approved the elimination of 11 positions, including clerks and instructional assistants, effective Nov. 12.
The approved cuts include positions for administrative clerks at school sites, a payroll clerk and secretaries, as well as instructional support assistants. The decision formally dropped 19 posts, but some already were vacant, according to NVUSD spokesperson Cass Caulfield.
None of the planned layoffs would affect classroom teachers with state credentials. The most recent cuts to instructional staff gained the board’s approval in February when trustees accepted the elimination of 60 teaching positions.
In April, NVUSD trustees approved laying off up to 24 non-teaching employees, including, clerks, instructional support assistants and janitors, both full- and part-time. That move followed a similar cut in April 2019, affecting food service workers and others.
The reductions in the work force have taken place as Napa’s public school system has worked to tighten a deficit that reached $3.1 million last year and forced the district to draw down its reserves below 4% of its budget. A school district that sees its reserves slip below 3% can be declared insolvent by the state, which can then take control of its finances.
Shrinking enrollment in the district, which covers schools in Napa and American Canyon, also has tightened its cash flow, as NVUSD, like most school systems in California, receives state funding at a fixed rate per student.
The total number of students has slipped from more than 17,000 in 2015 to fewer than 16,700 earlier this year, and district officials have predicted attendance could drop below 15,000 by 2026 due to high housing costs that financially pressure families with children. Enrollment at the junior-high and elementary levels in particular is projected to fall early this decade, according to a study compiled by King Consulting and shared with the school board in February.
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You can reach Howard Yune at 530-763-2266 or email@example.com
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