Classrooms and students to be impacted by $50M in proposed SCS c - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Classrooms and students to be impacted by $50M in proposed SCS cuts

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

There is no way to sugar coat the budget crisis Shelby County Schools are facing. The tough budget decisions the board is having to make, even after closing three schools and a proposing $50 million in cuts, will impact everyone...including children in the classroom.

"At the end of the day, when you've cut over $200 million in three years, you've cut all around all the tissue and the muscle. We're at the bone now," SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said.

It's an enormous, but simple problem. The district needs to spend $949 million, even after the $50 million in cuts already made. However, they only receive $913 million in revenue. That leaves a huge $36 million gap that needs to be closed. That gap equals more massive cuts.

"So when we talk about cutting teachers, when we talk about cutting resources, when we talk about cutting programs, you know, that's always gonna have a negative impact on our students," SCS School Board Member Stephanie Love said.

Now, Special Education could face significant cuts, a significant number of layoffs are at stake, and as many as 200 positions could be eliminated at the central office. 

The current proposed budget features $9 million in cuts to business operations, $2.5 million in cuts to the Innovation Department, the inability to purchase new textbooks, cuts or elimination of the CLUE program, $18 million in cuts to academics, and $19.5 million in cuts to other departments.

"Elementary world language, that would reduce those programs. Career and technical education, that would change those programs and the number of teachers in that area. Special education: we're talking about fewer teachers. And, I've left somebody out. World language, CTE, special education, and some counselors," Hopson said.

They would also eliminate 31 school health positions, in addition to cuts to classroom supplies and equipment. Some of the i-zone schools that have an extra hour of education will see that hour eliminated.

In all, at least 500 positions will be cut, some of them are already empty, but the majority of them are filled and those people will lose their job.

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