Isle of Wight County Schools eliminated 21 positions, including 8 teachers, recently after receiving county funding $400,000 less than what it had requested.
The Isle of Wight County School Board unanimously approved its $55 million budget, and soon after teachers began receiving notices that they had been let go.
According to spokesperson Kenita Bowers, at the elementary level, staff was reduced by four teachers, four kindergarten aides and 1.5 clerical positions.
At the middle and high school level, four teachers and three clerical positions were eliminated.
There were 1.5 administrators reduced across all schools, and three position were reduced at central office.
A request for more detail on specific positions and at which schools the cuts were made was not answered by press time.
Bowers said the positions were eliminated because of “challenging economic times coupled with increased expenses in special education services, utilities, transportation and building maintenance.”
According to Bowers, the schools have more than 80 positions that are not paid for by the state’s Standards of Quality funding.
The schools relied on attrition and reduction in force regulations to reduce staffing numbers, she said.
Reduction in force, when applied to teaching positions, targets teachers with a provisional license or a special education conditional license.
From there, teachers are laid off based on job performance, disciplinary history and participation in programs aimed at improving performance.
At a recent Board of Supervisors work session, Christina Berta, school executive director of finance and budgeting, told the Board of Supervisors that anything less than $24.6 million in county funding would result in cuts to school personnel.
The supervisors approved a $24.2 million school contribution — $400,000 less than what was reportedly need to stave off lay offs — on May 23.