Loudoun Co. teachers notified of possible job cuts due to budget - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Loudoun Co. teachers notified of possible job cuts due to budget deficit

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A wave of panic set in across Loudoun County on Wednesday as 5,800 teachers and administrators received letters warning them of possible job cuts.

Education officials say they are facing a $37 million budget deficit and while they don't expect a large amount of job cuts, legally they have to warn all of the staff that it's possible.

"It's scary to think we could lose our jobs," says Hamilton Elementary School teacher Terry Crosser.

She has been teaching for 20 years, but spent the past seven in Loudoun County. Since the cuts would be based on seniority, she says even if she is not cut, she fears she could be bumped from her position.

"We could be moved to any school, even Ashburn or Sterling,” she says.

Loudoun County's student body has seen the largest growth of any school system in Virginia. It ranks second in the nation.

"We get more money for the growth, but it has not kept up with the amount of students coming in," says Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson Wayde Byard.

In addition to the possible layoffs, four schools in Western Loudoun County could be forced to close including Hamilton, Hillsboro, Lincoln and Aldie Elementary Schools.

Some question whether this is a politically motivated move by the school board, coming at a time when the superintendent is stepping down and a new one is about to take over.

But Byard says if it saves money, it's just simple math.

"For people who lived in villages for a long time, the schools have been the center of the village. We respect that,” Byard says.

He continued, "We don't really want to do this, but if people are losing their jobs, we may have to. In a time of really tough decisions, this may be one we have to make."

Before making a final decision, the school board is looking for input from the community. There is a public hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 21 at the School Administration Building at 21000 Education Court in Ashburn, Va.

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