The board is faced with trimming about $3.6 million from the district budget in the face of shrinking state funds. District staff have recommended a slew of cuts, including the closing of Rising Sun, across-the-board salary reductions and eliminating 34 teaching positions.
District staff have recommended cutting 18 elementary school teaching positions, the elementary music teacher, one counselor, two vocational teachers, two high school music teachers, a business teacher, a science teacher, four full-time English positions and one part-time position, a math teacher, a P.E. teacher, a part-time home economics position and the high school librarian.
The board is required to notify all teachers it intends to lay off before March 15. However, district Superintendent Patrick Sweeney said there’s a chance that not all the positions would be eliminated if additional revenues could be found or if other cuts are agreed upon.
Staff also recommends closing Rising Sun, the district’s smallest school. It houses close to 40 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
It’s the most northern school in the district and has a unique class structure. The third, fourth and fifth grades share one classroom, as do the first- and second-graders. Kindergartners are the only students who don’t share a class with another grade level.
District staff anticipates a savings of almost $160,000 annually from shutting down the school, which represents less than one percent of the total shortfall.