Under-enrollment will lead to teacher cuts

(WMC) - Shelby County Schools could be cutting up to 220 positions, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Tuesday in an email to staff.

Mostly teaching positions will be affected in upcoming budgetary decisions.

Hopson released the following email Tuesday:

"This has been a challenging week, as we are faced with the need to eliminate a considerable number of school-based positions. It remains my goal to protect the positions of those working closest to our students; therefore, I truly regret any time budgetary decisions affect employees — especially those in our school buildings.

As you may know, all of the school-based positions that we fund each year are determined by our enrollment numbers. This year, numbers from the first official reporting date, which is the 20th day of school, show that our enrollment is down by approximately 4,000 students. Historically, we have been fairly accurate with our projections, but it was very difficult to project enrollment this year with the opening of six municipal school districts.

With about 220 total positions at risk due to the decrease in enrollment, the majority of which are teaching positions, I have challenged our staff to explore all options to preserve as many of these positions as possible. We are aggressively working to reallocate funds and identify vacancies in order to find employment opportunities for displaced employees, and we're hopeful that the number of people affected is going to be far less than the total number of positions being eliminated.

Principals will be informing affected employees this week and encouraging them to attend a hiring fair next week where they can apply and interview for vacancies in the District.

There is no easy way to face these decisions, but we are hopeful that some of the proactive steps we are taking will create opportunities for displaced employees to continue working with our students."

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