LAS VEGAS - Families of the students who attend Neil C Twitchell Elementary School are jumping into action to save teaching jobs there. The school's budget took a hit, so the principal at Twitchell Elementary asked parents for donations to pay for some of the teachers' salaries.
As to why she's asking parents for help, the principal, Michele Woolridge, sent the following statement:
“Parents have expressed concern about class sizes. Like all schools, we have gone through multiple rounds of budget cuts. I'm lucky to be in a community that has resources to support fund raising, not all communities do.
“Many schools have had to make difficult budgeting decisions and are looking for ways to restore some of that funding, or ways to expand things that are important to their school communities.
“We all need to come together as a community including educators, parents and all those concerned about education for the upcoming 2019 legislative session to discuss the importance of increased funding for education and the need for smaller class sizes.”
The school was already forced to make cuts earlier this year, but now they may be forced to do it all over again, which is why it's trying to come up with the money to save jobs.
Parents received a letter informing them that since enrollment for the academic year turned out to be lower than expected, the school is anticipating losing $240,000.
"I'm in support of the school and our staff and 'I'm very sad that we've come to this, but of course I'm going to contribute because our school is overpopulated," parent Christine Rice said.
If Twitchell loses between one or three teachers, which it's preparing for, the result will be larger class sizes in at least one grade level.
"It's a little unheard of I think, but if it means saving the classrooms then I'm willing to pay the money," said Inez Buckmeyer, a local grandmother.
The principal has set a goal of at least $62,000, so families are being asked for a $75 donation per student or $150 per family. That amount will save one position.
"I'm only for it because I want my grandson to stay in the same class he was in; started in," said Mickey, a local grandmother
The fundraising happening at Twitchell Elementary is not the first time a local school has taken these steps to save teaching jobs.
In May, school leaders at Bryan Elementary School also asked parents for donations. When that happened, the Clark County School District sent a statement saying that the district does not encourage fundraising, to pay for ongoing expenses like salaries.
Around the same time, Twichell Elementary also had to make cuts to the tune of $130,000. Now, it's facing a second round of budget cuts.
"I certainly hope that it works out; that we're able to keep our teachers," Rice said. "We don't have to lose anybody."
If the school doesn't meet its goal, the letter says they will hire certified temporary tutors to work with students in smaller groups.
Families are up against the clock because all of the money must be raised by Oct. 9.
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