When Tracy Unified School District looks at a new budget for 2020-21, it will include a cost cutback representing about 40 fewer teachers at local schools.

The TUSD Board of Education, at its regular meeting Tuesday, approved a resolution authorizing the cutback on a 6-0-1 vote, with Trustee Lori Souza absent, with no discussion or comment.

Tammy Jalique, the district’s associate superintendent for human resources, said the resolution was needed in advance of a new budget covering the next fiscal year, which will run from July 1 to June 30, 2021. She said it won’t necessarily translate to a series of teacher layoffs, but one way or another, there will be a reduction in the district’s teaching staff.

“The next step is that we look at how many teachers this will actually impact,” she said. “What we have to look at is, where are the impacted subject areas? What does our teaching staff look like now in comparison?”

She added that retirements and resignations are routine each year, and many of those teachers would not be replaced. Jalique figures about 30 to 40 teachers leave the district each year, but that’s an average and the actual numbers can vary substantially from year to year.

“We have school sites where a core group of teachers came in at the same time and they all want to retire at the same time,” she said. “We also have issues where families transfer out of the area.”

The district has seen a steady decline in enrollment over the past few years and expects that trend to continue. The TUSD budget for 2020-21 notes that student enrollment was the equivalent of 14,401 average daily attendance in 2016-17, compared with 13,485 in the 2020-21 budget and 13,244 expected for 2021-22.

Certificated salaries represent about $73.3 million of the district’s $161.6 general fund budget for 2020-21. Administrators and some other employees are included in that group, but about $60.6 million pays for teacher salaries.

Jalique said the district has about 730 certificated employees. Because some of them work part time, that amounts to a full-time-equivalent budget number of 695.4. The district’s resolution on Tuesday represents a cutback of 40.2 FTE, about 5.8% of the total.

The largest share of the cutback authorized on Tuesday, 17.8 FTE, would be from high schools, including a reduction of 5.2 FTE from biology teaching. Math, English and social science departments would also see cutbacks. Elementary schools would see a cutback of 16 FTE, and the rest would come from middle schools. 

Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com or 830-4227.

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