Ashland school budget up tonight

Ashland's School Board meets tonight to vote on a budget for the coming year and on a pay cut already negotiated with employee unions.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the district board room at 885 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. It's open to the public.

Earlier this year board members eliminated about $4.4 million from the district's budget to corral spending. According to Superintendent Juli Di Chiro, 141 employees of about 370 in the district have been affected by the cuts, either through job losses, shortened hours or transfers within the district.

Little is known about the result of the employee negotiations, which occurred last month and early this month. Di Chiro and her secretary, Jeannie Peterson, did not return calls seeking more information.

Mel Ginsberg, a representative for the district's teacher's union, the Ashland Education Association, and a teacher at Helman Elementary School, said he did recall the details of the negotiations with teachers, but said "basically we're getting another pay cut."

"We had days cut last year and this year we're getting days cut plus additional money cut," he said.

Ginsberg said the majority of teachers cast their ballots to approve the cuts because they didn't want to see more layoffs.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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