Teachers retiring in Caruthersville; some won't be replaced

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) - The Missouri House passed its budget Thursday making cuts in state funding for schools.

While some Missouri schools are already letting some teachers go next year others are trying to decide what they will do.

"Anytime you lose money, regardless of where it comes from you have to find a way to close that gap and fill that shortfall," said Caruthersville School District Superintendent JJ Bullington.

Bullington said the school is already looking at a 2% decrease in funding.

"That's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $125,000 to $130,000 that we had budgeted this year that we're not going to get," said Bullington.

She said they get around six million dollars a year from the state foundation formula in Missouri and that is a bulk of their funding.  With less money coming in, some schools are reducing their number of staff members.

"They're worried about their jobs and they've been asking me, 'Am I going to lose my job?'" said Bullington.

"I'm just happy to have a job and I think that a lot of the teachers are beginning to feel that way too some of their spouses have been laid off from other professions," said Elementary Principal Claire Wallace.

"We didn't have to actually tell someone they don't have a job next year which I'm very glad we did not have to do that," said Bullington.

Seven teachers are retiring and two others are resigning.  Bullington said the loss of the teachers in these positions adds up to salaries around $450,000.

"We will be able to determine if we will be able to replace some of them.  We know we won't be able to replace most of them," said Bullington.

With fewer teachers on staff they are discussing increasing class sizes.  Elementary Principal Claire Wallace said that's a scary thought.

"We're well under those and it's kind of scary to the teachers that they would even get close to having the maximum number of students in their class," said Wallace.

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