VINELAND - Vineland School District officials are considering cutting 82 of the district's 2,038 employees as part of their proposed budget.

About 4 percent of district staff would be cut.

Only three teaching positions would be cut as part of the move, school board President Frank Giordano said Friday morning, with a majority of the cuts affecting secretaries and playground/cafeteria aides.

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The cuts are expected to save about $6 million, allowing the district to balance its $190 million budget without a tax increase, Giordano said.

However, fewer jobs could be cut in the end because district officials do not yet know who will be retiring. That means even if the budget were approved with those 82 cuts, some employees on the chopping block could retain their jobs.

"It's not a done deal yet," Giordano said. "But the state requires us to get them a budget now, so we don't have much time."

Vineland lost more than $13 million when Gov. Chris Christie claimed "excess surpluses" from New Jersey school districts last month, seizing all funds greater than 2 percent of the total budget. Vineland also is due to receive about $9 million less in state aid for the coming year.

School leaders had declined Monday night after the board meeting to release full details on job cuts, but Giordano said he decided Thursday to do so prior to next week's board meeting because he felt it was important the public be aware of the numbers.

The cuts were not unexpected, considering district officials said Monday that they would be eliminating their adult education, summer school and intramural programs, but it was just a question of how many positions.

Ten of those targeted work in the adult education program, creating a savings of $725,335, numbers provided by Giordano show. The summer school program's elimination accounts for a savings of $199,500. Some of the positions are jobs not currently filled.

Other cuts include savings of more than $2.5 million related to proposed changes to health benefits and pensions.

The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday to host a public hearing on the budget.

Contact Daniel Walsh:

856-649-2074

DWalsh@pressofac.com

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