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Natrona County School District not anticipating layoffs in 2019

Retiring librarian Nancy Martinson talks with former teacher Cheryl Collums on Wednesday, June 7, 2018, at Mountain View in Mills. Collums taught at Mountain View for 11-years before moving to Denver. She drove up to say goodbye to the school. Mountain View was one of four schools in Natrona County that closed in 2018. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

With the memories of painful budget cuts and school closures still fresh, the Natrona County School District Board of Trustees took a look at the 2019 budget outlook during their board meeting on Monday, Jan. 29.

“The fiscal outlook is flat,” said treasurer Ray Catellier. “Revenue is up about two percent which doesn’t mean a lot because the state could just take that back next year.”

Catellier said that the district is not currently anticipating any more layoffs.

“We’re looking at potentially no more cuts,” said Catellier.

NCSD Public Relations Officer Tanya Southerland elaborated on the issue in an email to Oil City.

The District has worked diligently to avoid layoffs and has created efficiencies working through attrition and reassignment,” she wrote. “I can say there is no discussion at this time around layoffs. We are committed to working together with our legislators to do our part in remaining fiscally responsible while maintaining a priority focus on student learning.”

“Over the past several years, NCSD has proactively taken steps towards reducing the operating budget to accommodate known and anticipated reduced funding,” Southerland said. “The plan has been to stay ahead of anticipated revenue reductions in an effort to lessen the impact on students, families, and employees.”

She explained that the fiscal year 2019 budget had been created with priorities aligned to this plan in mind.