NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – More than five dozen Kentuckiana teachers will get pink slips starting on Tuesday, it's all in an effort to fill a major budget gap for New Albany-Floyd County schools.
The board approved to cut nearly 70 teaching positions and 13 administrative and operational assignments, which includes eliminating elementary art, music, and physical education teachers.
It's been the talk of this school district since major cuts were put on the table. "It is painful and sickening to hear the possibilities of our programs being cut," one Floyd Central High School student told the board.
"Why must we put at risk our cultural institutions, when we know it also puts at risk our students overall education," said Aaron Johnson, FCHS senior.
Students, parents, tax payers, and teachers packed the board room, waiting to see what's next for New Albany-Floyd County schools. Before voting, the board asked for other solutions.
"Look at pay cuts across the board the board, not just voluntary, but administration, teachers, and whatever, what can be done to find more money," Don Cherry urged the school board.
Right now the school board says the money is just not there, and point to the state. "In 2010 the state reduced our funding by $3.2-million, in 2011 we were cut $3.5-million," said Roger Whaley, school board president.
Whaley says they were able to make it through the first time by closing four schools, without teacher layoffs. This year it is different as other factors pile up, including fewer students enrolled and no more federal stimulus dollars.
The end decision weighing heavy on all. "I am sorry, so very sorry for tonight for those who's lives and families are affected by these recommendations and I am truly sorry for the children who will be impacted by this," said Jan Anderson, board member.
Cutting the art, music, and p.e teachers doesn't mean those subjects will completely disappear. The board says they'll be incorporated into other classes.
During the next meeting in April, the board will see the final list of who will lose their job. Roger Whaley says there is still some hope, the board has opened negotiations with the teacher's association to try to find savings in other places.