Ralston Public Schools is putting teachers and staff on the chopping block after having to make up to $2.7 million dollars in cuts.
Dr. Mark Adler, the superintendent of Ralston Public Schools, tells Channel Six they were left with no other options.
“There's never a good time to talk about reducing or cutting back, there just never is, but my job is to make sure that our people know exactly what's happening,” says Adler.
After two years of tightening the district's belt through re-negotiating contracts, closing inefficiencies and using three million dollars in reserve funds, the superintendent says there's no other choice but to make significant cuts to district staff.
“It’s to a point now where that optimism over time when you look down the road, I just don't see it changing enough to get where we need to be to have a strong fiscal position again.”
A letter detailing the reduction plan was sent to every employee two days before Thanksgiving.
Deb O’ Reilly’s son got a letter, he teaches history at Ralston High.
“It was a little unsettling however he's been there five years so we're feeling pretty comfortable for him personally.”
O' Reilly supports the district and says she wasn't completely surprised by the cuts.
“The teacher to child ratio in Ralston is better than a lot of the other school districts around so even though some things will be more difficult and challenging for the teachers left picking up the slack, I think the district will do fine.”
The school district does plan on offering an early retirement program for teachers who have 20 or more years with the district. The hope is to make the cuts less severe overall. The superintendent says about 50 teacher qualify, but it's completely voluntary.
The decision on how many people will be let go will be made next spring.
Parents were not notified about the cuts. Adler says parents will be alerted as the plan gets more detailed.