POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - More and more Heartland school districts are looking for ways to balance the budget.
The Poplar Bluff School District is working to make some changes while trying to save approximately $1.5 million.
The district will no longer receive federal stimulus dollars, plus school leaders say there is an operating budget deficit to the tune of about $400,000.
The school board voted on March 24, 2011 to eliminate several positions.
According to Superintendent Chris Hon, the contracts of five employees were not renewed for the upcoming school year.
"Those were all due to financial reasons, not performance reasons," said Hon. Those include a music teacher, second grade teacher, counselor, speech implementer, and instructional technician.
The board voted to eliminate 16 classified positions, 19.5 certified positions, 1.3 administrative positions, and 8 assistant coaching positions.
According to Superintendent Hon, most of the positions were already vacated and will not be filled.
Hon says if new positions become available, the staff members recently let go could be hired back.
While no other cuts are expected, Hon said budget concerns do continue.
"We have other financial decisions to make throughout the year," said Hon. "What is insurance and healthcare going to cost us? We can't afford much more than what we are spending."
Hon says the district is currently paying approximately $525 per month per employee.