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Manhattan Beach School Board Votes To Pink Slip Nearly 2 Dozen Teachers

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MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board voted Wednesday night to pink slip nearly two dozen teachers.

The board members made the decision after projecting the district would go over budget by nearly $2 million.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews said the layoffs would cut more than $1 million and balance the budget by 2015.

Adam Geczi, a high school economics teacher, told KCAL9’s Serene Branson that the district claims they’re in the red because of money spent on books and supplies.

The instructor, however, said they haven’t gotten new textbooks in years.

“What people need to remember is that we haven’t purchased any books in that same time period, yet our books and supplies spending has increased tremendously,” said Geczi.

He continued, “We’re making assumptions that are inaccurate. We’re making assumptions that are potentially built-in errors and we’re playing with people’s lives.”

Matthews said the district is actually spending less on books and supplies than in previous years due to technology investments.

“This year, we’ve started a one-to-one iPad program in our middle school, but that has not been an impact on the general fund, thanks to grants and thanks to our parents purchasing the book for their own children,” he said.

Meantime, Matthews told Branson schools never reaped any monetary benefits from Proposition 30, the tax measure Gov. Jerry Brown hailed as education funding.

He also said Manhattan Beach Unified gets less state funding than less affluent districts.

“No new funds came into our school budget because of Prop 30, but we averted a potentially disastrous cut. Every one of us is hopeful that we can find more revenues or find other areas we can cut as the year progresses. In the past, we’ve managed to do that. We found a way to rescind those layoff notices,” Matthews said.

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