WHITTIER – Even with plans to sell off one of its school sites this year, the Lowell Joint School District will still need to chop $1.85 million from its budget in 2006-07, officials said Wednesday. Interim Superintendent Ronald Randolph said each board member has been given a list of possible cuts next year for consideration, ranging from layoffs of certificated and classified employees to reductions in administration and supplies. School board President Janet Averill said layoffs are a certainty. “We will be laying off people, though we’re not sure how many at this point,” Averill said. “Of course, we’re not happy about that, but we’re trying to do the very best we can. “Whatever we do, we want it to be the least destructive as possible, and we want to maintain as much as we can.” Randolph said the cuts amount to about 8 percent of the district’s budget. “We went over the books in order to balance next year’s budget so that we’re spending only what we receive and we’re not deficit spending,” Randolph said. “And that’s how we found out we have to cut $1.85million.” The district’s financial troubles came to light last year, after officials with the Los Angeles County Office of Education rejected the district’s initial 2005-06 budget because it overestimated revenues, among other issues. As such, the district was required to hire a financial consultant, come up with a fiscal recovery plan and revise this year’s budget, which ended up with a $1.7 million funding gap. But because annual contracts protected most employees from layoffs, Randolph said the district’s best option for balancing the books was to sell its Grovedale site in East Whittier. Grovedale, which is being leased to the private Carden School, is expected to be sold by the end of May, said Averill. The district is asking for a $1.7 million down payment from prospective buyers to help shore up this year’s budget gap. Appraisers have not yet determined a fair market price for the 10-acre property. But the proceeds of Grovedale’s sale will only help this year’s budget, Randolph said. As such, board members will vote at their Jan. 30 meeting on cuts to save $1.85 million next year. Randolph said the list of cuts was prepared in such a way that “all services and all areas were looked at and cut with some equity. “The cuts could include, but are not limited to, layoff notices for certificated and classified employees, cuts in administrative personnel and in administration, and cuts in supplies and equipment,” Randolph said. The next board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the district office, 11019 Valley Home Ave. For more information, call the district at (562) 943-0211. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!