Massive Cuts Underway for Haywood County Schools
A plan to close Central Elementary School in Waynesville will only solve a small part of the districts $2.4M shortfall, and will force dramatic cuts. As many as 22 classroom teaching positions might be eliminated, as well as additional across the board cuts.
Undeniably the most troubling cut, however, is the first one — the school system will get rid of 22 classroom teaching positions, saving $1.07 million. It’s an upsetting but unavoidable plan, administrators say. Personnel costs account for more than 60 percent of the school system’s budget in any given year, so it’s hard to significantly cut expenses without touching teachers.
Garrett hopes nobody will actually be laid off to achieve the reduction, as the school system typically expects 45 to 60 people to retire or otherwise leave the classroom each year. But class sizes — especially for grades four and up, which have no state-mandated cap — will go up, and there’s a potential for some course offerings to disappear, though district leaders vow to prevent that outcome if at all possible.
Specific decision about which positions stay and which go won’t come out until March, when the district makes its preliminary calculations for projected enrollment.