New York, NY — Jordan Public Schools on Wednesday announced the first-ever layoffs in the district’s history.
The New York-based public school system is facing a $1.3 billion budget deficit that will likely force it to shut down schools this year and the next, Bloomberg reported.
“It is no secret that we are facing a fiscal challenge in Jordan, but it is also no secret we are under financial pressure from the federal government,” Jordan Board of Education Superintendent Eric Haines said in a statement.
“This budget will result in a significant reduction in our school services, classroom space, and instructional time.
The school district will have to make difficult choices, including the need to restructure our budget, which will result on our students.”
Hains said the school system will continue to make investments to ensure that students have the educational opportunity they deserve, while also continuing to improve the school environment and make necessary structural changes to help the district address financial issues.
The closures are being planned in phases.
In addition to the $1 billion in cuts, the school district is considering eliminating all but four of its schools.
Jordan has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, according to a 2011 report by the US Department of Education.
The state is currently facing an unprecedented budget shortfall of $10.3 million a day.
The budget was approved in January, which means it is still subject to state approval.
Jordan Board members met on Wednesday to discuss the proposed layoffs.
“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support we received from Jordan families and the communities we serve, and I look forward to meeting with the board to continue the dialogue and build a future together,” Hainss said.
“We know that many Jordan families will not be able to continue their education, and that this will impact the future of their kids.”
Jordan Board President David Brown and Hain, who is the district superintendent, were the only two members of the board who voted to approve the budget.
Brown, who has been a vocal critic of the district, voted to keep his job in order to prevent further layoffs.
Hain said the layoffs are “not intended to hurt the district financially, but to help us achieve our goals of making Jordan the best school district in the state.”
Brown and the rest of the Board have until June 7 to decide whether to seek additional cuts to the district budget.
In a letter to the board, the district administrator wrote that the cuts would not be needed in the long term, according a Bloomberg report.
“The district will be able and ready to make the necessary investments to sustain the district as it seeks to achieve its objectives and meet its financial goals,” the letter reads.