For the second straight year, the San Miguel Joint Union School District will cut its academic year short by five days because of ongoing budget problems.
Superintendent Curt Dubost said Monday that the district and its teachers union agreed to trim the school year to 175 instructional days, down from the normal 180 days.
Classes will end June 1, instead of June 8 as originally planned. Eighth-graders at Lillian Larsen School will graduate on May 31.
Dubost said the cut amounts to five furlough days for the teaching staff and was done to maintain the district’s reserve fund.
Reducing by five days equals about a 2.5 percent pay cut for San Miguel’s 33 teachers, Dubost said.
Five days were cut last year, and Dubost said the teachers union agreed to do the same again rather than face any layoffs.
The district’s reserve currently stands at $350,000, but the school board wants to keep it at $500,000, Dubost said.
“For a district our size, we have to have a half-million in reserve,” Dubost said. “Our teachers have prudently agreed and thankfully recognized it is better to take five days now than face a pickle later on.”
He said a district’s reserve fund can shrink quickly by an expensive lawsuit or extensive spending for some special-needs children.
District administrators will meet with the representatives of nonteaching employees Friday to discuss wage cuts they might agree to make.