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How the District Budget Cuts Will Affect the Present

Published: March 30, 2021

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With the district’s fall in allotted money, teaching positions are one of the first things to go. The reduction in faculty will result in a loss of teachers throughout the entire district, but the loss will be heavy in all three FHSD high schools.

“Because of COVID-19, state tax revenue has gone down significantly,” head principal Nathanael Hostetler said. “There’s a huge reduction in consumer spending, a huge reduction in taxes, so the state disbursements have dropped off significantly. In the last two fiscal years, the district has lost $10 million  in state revenue, and the economy continues to struggle. It’s created a very real pinch.”

As with many of the budgeting decisions, part of the decision will come from a district level and some from the school’s individual administration. The district’s job is to decide how many teaching positions will be lost; it’s FHN’s decision on who specifically gets cut. The district, however, was able to save a few teacher positions from being cut using one-time care money.

“We found out the positions [being cut], the teachers spoke with us, and we decided to use our care money to shore up and protect those positions for one more year,” Board of Education member Patrick Lane said.

The decision was made on a need-basis. As counselors figure out class sizes for next year, administration plans to cut teachers who don’t have enough students to fill classes. This could mean teachers will take on larger class sizes than they have in the past, and there may be a shift in who teaches what course. Some courses may not be offered because of newfound staffing limits.

One exception to cutting classes are the required courses, such as classes that students need to graduate, like personal finance, or core classes where students take End-of-Course (EOC) exams.

“What we would anticipate is an increase in the average number of students in each classroom, so in that sense, it will impact students,” Hostetler said. “If we lose a significant number of teachers, there’s a possibility of erasing some classes since we won’t be able to offer them. There are going to be some classes where there’s not a lot of wiggle room, and some where there are.”

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