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Angles Camp, CA — The Bret Harte Union High School District may be forced to lay off some staff this year due to money woes. The district is funded by property taxes which have been steadily declining over the years.

Superintendent Mike Chimente says they could eliminate up to six employees. The problem is the district has to notify certified employees of preliminary lay-offs by March 15th, but they won’t know how much money they’ll have for the 2013-14 year until the tax rolls are done in June. Chimente says they could see no decline in funds or up to a two percent drop.

“We have spent down our reserve hoping we could have out lasted this recession and preserve jobs. We are not able to so. The fact is that we have to do a one-time adjustment to our budget so that we will have the state’s mandatory four percent reserve and have our budget reflect income to expense,” said Superintendent Chimente.

The current budget is nearly $9 million. Also, schools enrollment is down. Chimente says they will not cut any curriculum, but they will look at the student to teacher ratio. He says most likely they will send out lay-off notices this year and then hire some of the employees back after they have the exact amount for the 2013-14 budget.

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