Support staff employees are the latest to receive reduction-in-force notices from the Marana Unified School District.

The school board on Thursday approved a reduction of 113 support staff employees, among 885 total workers in those positions, according to a district release. The reduction, made "due to the uncertainty of proposed budget cuts to education and the resulting impact," represents 12.8 percent of total support staff.

Support staff positions that would be eliminated include kindergarten aides, computer aides, all custodial positions and district level positions. MUSD is going to contract for private sector custodial work, the release said.

Earlier in April, the MUSD board approved a reduction in force of 64 certified staff, six administrative staff and two exempt staff. In combination, the reductions add to 185 MUSD employees. Already, 42.5 positions have been eliminated due to attrition.

Arizona has reduced the Marana Unified School District's funding for the upcoming school year by $5.6 million. If voters do not approve the 1 percent sales tax ballot measure during the special election on May 18, the district expects another $4.7 million budget cut, pushing its total reduction for the fiscal year that begins July 1 to $10.3 million.

"This is another difficult year for the District and our employees," said Dr. Doug Wilson, superintendent of Marana Unified School District. "With the anticipated reduction in revenue of $10.3 million for this coming year, on top of the $8.6 million reduction we have already experienced, MUSD will be tremendously impacted.

"While we are fortunate that we were able to minimize the impact to our students this past year, it has now become impossible to address budget issues without having a direct impact to our employees and our students," Wilson said. "A large number of our employees who have worked tirelessly with passion and dedication on behalf of the students and parents within our community are being laid off, at absolutely no fault of their own."

MUSD has 12,917 students and 1,789 employees. Its operating budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 is $74.6 million.

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