Raleigh County Schools report 2nd highest budget deficit in W.V - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh County Schools report 2nd highest budget deficit in W.Va.

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) The Raleigh County Board of Education (BOE) is expected to discuss personnel recommendations on Tuesday that could impact as many as 94 positions.

The layoffs expected to take effect in the 2017-18 school year come after a nearly nine million dollar loss in county, state, and federal funding over the last couple of years. Raleigh County lost just under 200 students between 2016 and 2017. 

Raleigh County's Association Federation of Teachers (AFT) responded to the proposed cuts on Tuesday, which could impact more than 30 teaching positions.

"Everybody is in an uproar. Everybody is worried about their job. Morale is not good right now," said AFT Pres. Mary Moye. 

At the elementary level, Kindergarten Teacher Jaclyn Adams is worried about proposed cuts to teachers' aides. "They're so beneficial and helpful to have. I couldn't do my job without my aide." 

Meanwhile, Raleigh County's Education Association Pres. Wendy Peters raised concern Tuesday about the impact of the proposed cuts on class size. "I think they could look at other things besides the employees who work with the children."

While the state-mandated student-teacher ratios at the elementary level may protect elementary school teachers, those at the high school level without such restrictions may not be as lucky.

"Middle school and high school teachers, they can fit as many students into the classroom as is allowed by the fire marshal," said Moye. 

Presently, Raleigh County falls behind Logan County Schools with the highest budget deficit at 14 million dollars.

Stay with WVVA News on-air and online for the latest on Tuesday night's Raleigh County BOE meeting. 

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