Governing board members in the Tempe Union High School District voted to save librarians and English aides whose positions had been on the chopping block. But they don’t know yet how they’ll cover the costs.
At a Wednesday night board meeting, members voted 3-2 to accept an amended budget that saved librarians at Marcos de Niza, McClintock and Tempe high schools, as well as five English instructional aides.
Earlier this spring, a projected $1 million budget shortfall led the district to propose slashing funding for the positions.
But librarians continuously spoke their minds at meetings and successfully lobbied the board to save their positions.
At the meeting, board member Don Keuth had proposed saving the positions by using money originally targeted for a retiree health care fund, but failed to garner support.
Instead, the board finally passed the proposed budget but amended it by pulling out the controversial cuts, demanding that administrators find money to pay for them.
“I guess we’re saying we’re going to fund them, and we expect somebody to find the money,” said board member Mary Lou Taylor.
Board members Robin Arredondo-Savage and Zita Johnson cast the dissenting votes.
“For me, the amendment makes a statement that I’m not ready to make,” Johnson said.
The budget, as passed, contained more than $900,000 in spending cuts.