Vista school board proposes layoffs, program cuts balance budget

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VISTA, Calif. – The Vista Unified School District is facing a $19.5-million budget deficit and school board trustees have proposed staffing and service cuts to the dismay of workers and parents.

Many showed up at the school board meeting Thursday to express their concerns.

The board fired Superintendent Linda Kimble but voted to pay her a $281,000 severance package.

Dr. Matt Doyle was named to replace her.

“It’s with great pride and honor that I accept the position of superintendent of schools for Vista Unified,” said Doyle.

District trustees proposed cutting legal services, wheel teachers, music teachers, classified staff members and a host of other cost saving measures. 

“Now we are paying teacher salaries for the wheel and teachers salaries for the classroom spaces, and we need to look at that immediately, because $19 million is going to hurt,” said board President Rosemary Smithfield said.

Classified employees recently received a raise, and some grumbled they would have turned down the raise if they knew their jobs could be lost because of the increase.

“We, as all stakeholders including the tax payers as I am one, are very disappointed in this school board,” said Bill Faust a member of the classified school workers union.

None of the cuts were finalized Thursday, and a meeting has been set for Nov. 4 to continue discussing the proposed budget cuts. 

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