Students in the Sisters School District might not be able to find some favorite teachers on the first day of school next year. The district’s school board is set to approve a budget that would lay off 6 teachers - or about 8 percent of its teaching staff.
Superintendent Jim Golden says the cuts are needed to close a 1.3 million dollar budget gap. The plan also calls for the district to cut 5 days from the school year and dip into reserves.
In recent years, Sisters has seen enrollment go down, which means fewer dollars coming in. It’s also seen its obligations to Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System go up.
Golden says it’s never easy telling good teachers you need to let them go.
“It’s a whole different matter if you’re laying somebody off because of performance, but I’m laying people off just purely because of budget, not because of the work they’ve done", he says.
The layoffs will include two part-time teachers who offer classes in drama and videography. Golden says he’s exploring options with the local community college to possibly offer these classes outside school hours.