Dayton teachers, employees face layoffs

DAYTON (AP) -- The public school board has approved $9.4 million in budget cuts beginning in January that could mean laying off teachers, eliminating sports teams and reducing high school electives.
Under the plan approved Tuesday, as many as 58 teachers and 19 bus aides could lose their jobs and up to 135 jobs would be cut.
The plan would eliminate many high school and middle school sports teams and cut middle school foreign language.
Superintendent Percy Mack said he hopes to revise the plan within two weeks, seeking to minimize layoffs and academic program cuts.
The plan also includes another $12 million in cuts next year that would involve closing three schools and laying off 141 teachers.
"This is the most difficult thing I've had to do in 33 years in education," Mack said. "We have to do the things in this district to balance our budget so we don't face a takeover by the state of our fiscal affairs."
The schools are facing a $24 million deficit next year because of declining revenues. The district has lost millions in state aid as pupils leave the public schools for charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run and free of many regulations that traditional districts must follow.
About 16,500 pupils are enrolled in the public schools, which employ 1,350 teachers.

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