Waynesboro School Board to Eliminate 15 Positions

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

WAYNESBORO, Va.--- The Waynesboro School Board will eliminate 15 positions as a way to balance the School District's budget for next year.

Superintendent Jeffrey Cassell says the Board has decided not to fill new vacant spots after employees retire or resign this year.

The board adopted a budget that is over $31million. This amount is nearly $300,000 more than the 2014 budget.

The 15 positions expected to be cut will help to make up for nearly a $763,000 deficit the school district faces after it lost some state and federal funding.

Cassell says the School District missed out on funds that the state provides because of unstable enrollment numbers.

Ten of the positions will include professional staff, such as teachers and administrators. The other five positions include support staff, such as instructional assistants and/or custodians.

Parent Lydia Santangelo has concerns about some of the positions not being replaced.

"I think it is really sad. I think the schools need the people that they have there right now. There is a huge demand for education and more help so it is sad that people would go and not be replaced," says Santangelo.

If the 15 positions are not filled, Cassell says, this could mean class sizes will be larger and some programs may be cut as well.

Currently, on average there are 23 students and one teacher in a classroom. However, the vacant positions may mean teachers will have extra students in the classroom.

Santangelo says class sizes are already large and this will take away from one-on-one learning time.

The cuts may also mean that some Middle and High school students may not have as many electives.

"I think it is really sad. I think kids don't have a lot of opportunities today in school as we had in years past anyway. And to take those things away, It is not fair to them," says Santangelo.

The school board will present this proposed budget to the City Council next week.

The decision the school board made on Tuesday is not final. It is still waiting to see if the General Assembly will increase funding for next year. If the General Assembly does increase the School District's funding, then fewer positions will be cut.

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