It was the bottom line for many board members during Monday night's meeting.
"How many teachers are we talking about are going to be cut?" asked board president Tomeka Hart.
Administrators answered the question, eventually.
"117, 118," said Supt. Kriner Cash. "Somewhere in there," he added.
That's nearly 120 instructional positions that will be slashed as the district deals with budget cuts.
"We had 66 million dollars cut from our budget," said Cash.
The pink slips will soon be printed.
"We will be letting all the teachers know sometime this week," said administrator Von Goodloe.
But budget woes are not the only reasons behind these cuts.
"We are in a tough pickle right now," explained Dr. Cash.
He's talking about the number of people leaving the city of Memphis. And they're taking their school-aged children with them. It's called declining enrollment.
For instance, regular enrollment reached 106, 989 students last school year. Preliminary numbers this school year place enrollment at 102, 993.
"That's a decline of almost four-thousand students -- 3996," said administrator Bill White.
"They're leaving the system," said board member Sharon Webb. "They're leaving the city -- and it's so impacting in so many ways," she added.
Surplus teachers may have been saved in previous years.
"This is serious -- this is deep," said Cash.
But not in a year when the budget is broken.
The district's budget is set to be approved by the city council Tuesday. That's when official enrollment numbers will also be ready. Teachers will the least amount of seniority will be the first to go.