BREWER- After months of review, deliberation, and setting goals that stay fair to the students and the taxpayers, the Brewer School Department board members were forced to make tough decisions that will affect some staff members.
A 2017 budget deficit of originally almost $1.4 million is now reduced to only $300,000, but that means that the jobs of 13 district personnel are now on the line. The announcement was made at Monday night’s school department meeting.
“Brewer’s a special place and people kind of look out for each other and nobody wants to reduce positions,” said Superintendent Cheri Towle.
The Brewer School Department forced to make the tough decision to remove 13 jobs from the district next year in an effort to close the budget shortfall.
“We looked at enrollment studies, we looked at personnel studies, we even looked at birth rates in the area and kind of a projection of what enrollment will be,” said Towle.
The board determining that with a decline of over 300 students in the past ten years, the district simply does not need the number of employees that it used to. The decision complies with the board’s priority to keep programming the same for students, and taxes reasonable for community members.
The board is doing its best to try and make the decision work in favor of as many staff members as possible.
“We really are trying to save as many positions as we can, we have a number of teachers that are retirement eligible. The City of Brewer and the school department will bring an incentive to teachers to retire early if they so choose. So if a teacher does retire in that impact area, then that will possibly save a position that is ultimately at the bottom of that impact area,” said Towle.
District employees will be informed on Tuesday which positions are facing cuts. A second reading of the budget will be held on May 9th.