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Declining student enrollment has Paso Robles school district considering layoffs

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 21:50:23-05

Declining enrollment in the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District means hard decisions will have to be made.

According to the district, there are short term projections that indicate a decline of about 180 students.

The school district recently voted to reduce its busing services, which will save the district a reported $90,000, but it seems more cuts are on the way.

The district is considering laying off three to five of its high school or elective teachers.

"We got this really disappointing projection of short term and a little bit longer term enrollment where the county has said you need to cut another million dollars," said Curt Dubost, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent.

The district is crediting the decline in enrollment to the high cost of living.

The district says it has other plans to reduce spending that do not involve cuts to staffing, but if enrollment continues to decline, they say there won't be a need for as many teachers and classrooms.

Some parents are now wondering what elective options students will have left.

"Laying off teachers for electives is silly because the kids in high school are required to have so many electives," said Nicole Morgan, parent of a student at Paso Robles High School.

Dubost said declining enrollment is a statewide issue.

KSBY checked with other school districts to see what they were experiencing when it came to enrollment.

The Atascadero Unified School District said they saw a decline of 100 students and said a large portion of their students left the state.

According to the Santa Maria Joint Unified High School District, they are up in enrollment with an increase of 500 students.

We reached out to the San Luis Coastal Unified School District but did not hear back.