School Board Discusses Budget Cuts

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

Waynesboro, Va. (WHSV) -- When staff and students start next school year some things may change in Waynesboro Public Schools, due to tough budget cuts.

"I guess each year, you know I'm creeping closer and closer to the line where I feel like this isn't sustainable," said Joshua Waldron, who is a High School History Teacher.

At Tuesday's meeting, he pointed out that he works two jobs, due to his current salary as a teacher with the school system.

"I have my own web design business which is what I use to provide for my family," said Waldron.

Staff salaries and benefits make up more than 80 percent of the school system's budget.

The Superintendent said that's where the cuts will have to come from to make up for the $762,000 deficit in the proposed budget for the 2014-2015 school year.

That equals to roughly 15 positions, 10 teachers and five "support staff".

"To do that our proposal would be to reduce personnel through attrition, by retirements or resignations," said Dr. Jeffrey Cassell, who is the Superintendent of Waynesboro City Schools.

If those positions are eliminated, one of the major concerns is student-teacher ratio.

"So we can absorb that number of reductions in professional staff, better than we could in previous years," said Jeremy Taylor, who is a school board member.

He hopes that with the decline of enrollment in Waynesboro Public Schools, that will even the playing field in classrooms.

Right now, it is a waiting game to see how many students will enroll in the school system next year and how many teachers will retire or resign.

The board is also waiting on the state budget which is set to be released in early March.

Those are all factors that could impact next school year's budget.

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