D51 Lays Out Budget Cuts; Positions Cut But No Layoffs

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - School District 51 says it plans to eliminate 42 teaching and certified staff positions to help close a projected $10 million budget hole.

That and other proposed cuts were outlined in an email sent by Superintendent Steve Schultz to district staff Monday.

District 51 spokesperson Jeff Kirtland tells 11 News there will be no layoffs and the district will eliminate the positions simply by not refilling any positions left open by teachers who are retiring or who leave the district.

He says the district is anticipating 80 retirements at the end of this school year.

The district is also planning on slashing funding for the Valley East School and Glade Park Elementary. Kirtland says though unfortunate, district leaders ultimately felt the students in those programs could be redistributed to other existing programs in the district.

"Until now, the prior reductions were achieved by changing the way we do business with minimum impact to schools and programs," Schultz wrote in the email. "As we face the 2011 / 2012 budget, we must look at the programs we are funding and determine the most cost effective way of moving forward. We will no longer have the ability to fund all that we have in the past."

Officials say this first round of reductions represents about half the cuts they will need to make. The full list of proposed cuts is as follows:

Reduction in utility expenditures: $625,000

Eliminate payment for School Resource Officers: $100,000

Discontinue funding of Valley East Program: $210,000

Re-Organize Curriculum and Instructional Depts. with reduced staffing levels (administrative / TOSA positions): $568,000

Reduce District funded extended summer learning program: $800,000

Discontinue funding of Glade Park Elementary operations: $110,000

Restructure School to Career Program: $220,000

Increase high school and middle school athletic fees: $112,000

Reduce Teacher / Certifed Staff positions: $2,184,000

Eliminate Participation in Legislative Coalition: $18,000

TOTAL: $4,947,000

Officials say cuts could change based on the amount of funding the district receives from the state. State leaders are currently working to approve a state budget.

The School Board will officially adopt a budget for next school year by June.

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