Almost 200 Hesperia Unified School District employees received their pink slips this month, and more are likely to be laid off this summer. But the HUSD isn't done cutting, and more cuts will be necessary for coming school years.


"We were able to make substantial cuts this year, mid-year," Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David McLaughlin said Wednesday, "But we weren't able to make enough because of contracts and fixed costs to equal the reduced funds the state provided."


The district still needs to cut an additional $2.8 million. But with 90 percent of the district's non-restricted revenue being spent on salaries and benefits, making those cuts will require the cooperation of the two unions that represent the majority of HUSD employees.


McLaughlin laid out potential future cuts for the 2009-2010 school year and beyond at Monday night's school board meeting.


Among the options were eliminating the stipends paid to employees for extracurricular work, such as coaching, for one year.


HUSD managers have already had their work year reduced, but the district will bring up doing the same for the employees with union representation, as well as specifically cutting back workdays for certain job categories.


Every year, most HUSD employees automatically see an increase in pay, thanks to a pay schedule that sees them moving up steps in pay grade for each year worked, and they can move to higher-paid work categories if they get additional education beyond their bachelors degree. The district will proposing that employees defer these "step and column" increases for at least part of a year.


The district will also suggest moving more of the cost for employee benefits from the district to the employees.


The last item on McLaughlin's list is an end to overtime or work beyond that set forth in employees' contracts.


"We will have some of these to present to the board when they take up the budget in June," McLaughlin said. "Some of these, quite frankly, I hope to have as on-going discussions."


The next meeting of the HUSD school board will be held on Monday, April 6, at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.