The Northwest Allen County Schools board has approved its budget.
The new spending plan cuts expenses by more than $2 million. But that includes 24 fewer teachers.
The district decided last year to lay off 24 full-time employees, and that's already been done. Some were called back to other positions, but the district still has 24 fewer people, and schools are feeling the impact.
Superintendent Chris Himsel says fewer people mean reduced services. He says class sizes are slightly larger this year, and that employees are working hard to shoulder more responsibilities. But Himsel says students aren't feeling a negative impact.
“I believe that we have a lot of adults who are going above and beyond and doing everything they absolutely can to make sure that our students receive what they need in order to be educated and achieve,” said Himsel.
In addition to laying off 24 employees, the district is saving on supplies and energy costs. Plus, administrators took a three percent pay cut, and some staffers didn't take a raise. Savings total $2.4 million, according to Himsel.
The district is not considering closing any schools or pushing for a property tax increase—at least, not right now. But the superintendent says anything can happen, especially if the state cuts public education further.