Gering school district facing $300,000 budget deficit

The Gering school district is facing a budget deficit of around $300,000 for the current fiscal year that they hope to address with some changes for the next school year, including staffing.

Superintendent Don Hague says the district cannot turn " a blind eye" to having to dig into reserves to balance the budget for the fiscal year that ends in August, so they plan on reducing spending by $900,000 next year, mostly through attrition. Hague says they have ten certified staff resignations and only two will be replaced. There will also be reductions in hours in classified positions, including the "paras" that assist in the classroom.

Hague says the reductions will actually develop a budget with a small surplus. But it will also mean staff transfers between buildings and some reassingments that provide efficiency, including moving from the current four elementary principals to three. Hague says with the state no longer providing extra funding for small class sizes, K-3 elementary classes will increase to an average of 24 or 25.

Hague also says the certified staff has agreed to a two year contract with only a small increase in salary.

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