EAGLE, Colo. (CBS4) – The school board in Eagle County voted Wednesday afternoon to lay off nearly 15 percent of its staff. They are drastic cuts for what has been a very successful district.
The Eagle County School District wins many awards every year, but they’re facing major budget issues; because in the past few years when other districts made deeper cuts, Eagle used cash reserves to fill the void. But now those patches aren’t enough to fill the holes in the budget anymore.
“This is a terrible time for our district,” said Dr. Brian Childress, Eagle County School District Human Resources Director.
(Tanya Caruso with the Eagle County Education Association was interviewed by CBS4′s Jeff Todd. Watch his entire report in the video below):
The school board will officially eliminate 70 jobs.
“When you look to make cuts, when 80 percent of your expenditures are either salary and benefits, that’s where the cuts need to land,” Childress said.
The positions range from janitors to teachers to district administration. It’s down from the original projection of 100 jobs.
Of the teachers, 20 are not being rehired for next year and another 15 have had their positions altered.
But Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser says the focus is still on the classroom.
“I think we’ve been able to protect class size more than we thought we’d be able to by making other cuts,” Smyser said.
Transportation is another area being drastically affected.
The district hopes they don’t have to face stiff cuts again.
“The goal of it is that it’s a sustainable budget and we don’t have to go through this anymore for the next few years. So that’s the hope,” Smyser said.