Bedford Co. Schools Cutting More Jobs

Bedford, Co., VA - Bedford County schools have cut more than 200 positions over the last five years. The latest round of cuts came just last week. The school board cites declining enrollment and budget cuts as ongoing issues. Forty-six positions are being eliminated. Twenty of the positions were already being eliminated because of declining enrollment. The additional 26 are because of the budget. They are mostly teaching jobs, with one position coming from the central office. Most of the cuts are covered by retirements and turnover. Four employees received reduction in force letters, but could be rehired according to school board chairman Gary Hostutler. "They're getting their contracts this week and are going to find out you live in Forest, but your job's in Goodview. They may have an issue with that. They've been talked to. Nobody's going to get a surprise, but it can impact their decision on whether they are going to stay working for us or not," Hostutler said. The classroom is where students will see the impact. They'll be in bigger classes next fall. The cuts are being spread across all levels. The student teacher ratio in elementary school will be 22 to 1 24 to 1 in middle school and 26 to 1 in high school. That's up one student over current average class sizes. The ratios may not seem bad, but they are just an average. Class sizes can vary school to school and across grade levels; some might be bigger. The school system will still have to hire for some positions next fall. No departments are being cut, but there could be fewer class offerings.