Bedford County school leaders propose close to 50 job cuts and i - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Bedford County school leaders propose close to 50 job cuts and increased class sizes

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Thursday was a day of tough decisions for the Bedford County School Board as members discussed proposed budget cuts. As proposed, 46 position could be on the chopping block.

Board members needed to trim more than $4 million dollars from the school system's budget.

"It will probably be necessary for some folks to lose their jobs" said Dr. Douglas R. Schuch. "The real impact is that all the class sizes will increase at the secondary level and we may have to eliminate some elective programs."

Under the proposed plan the school system would have to cut 46 staff positions. Additionally, class sizes would increase by one student per class. Board members also proposed changes to health insurance plans which includes increased premiums and decreased HSA contributions.

"We changed it from a $1500 complete deductible plan" SAID Randy Hagler, Chief Financial Officer Bedford County Schools. "Now it is set at $2000 deductible and then you have to get the $4,000 out of pocket maximum."

Hagler said the proposed changes would lower the cost burden for the school board to about $133,000 and shift more health insurance cost to employees.

"Unfortunately it is hitting employees twice because they would not get a pay raise and they have to pay more for health insurance and the benefits they are getting are not as favorable" said Dr. Shuch. "It's really disappointing that are getting the low level of funding that we're getting and we have to make these decisions."

To put the proposed health insurance changes into perspective, some employees can expect to pay $65 dollars more each month for health insurance.

School leaders said the proposed cuts seem inevitable, unless either the Bedford County Board of Supervisors or state leaders increase funds for schools and lessen the need for reductions.

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