Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 26, 2013

Buchanan County announces 51 layoffs in school system

GRUNDY, Va. — Faced with a $2.1 million budget shortfall, school officials in Buchanan County announced Wednesday that 51 employees, including several teachers, have been laid-off.

Those employees impacted by the layoffs include teachers, instructional aids, custodians and clerical staff. The school system was faced with a $1.6 million federal funding shortfall, and a $600,000 deficit in local funding, according to School Superintendent Larry Ashby.

If additional local or federal funds become available, Ashby said all efforts will be made to rehire the impacted staff members.

“I sincerely regret we had to lay anyone off,” Ashby said. “It's never been my objective whatsoever as superintendent for anyone to lose their job. I will be seeking additional funding from the Board of Supervisors and other sources to bring these people back on board as quickly and rapidly as possible. I understand the hardships layoffs create on families and I do not want to see anyone suffer as a result of this. I have sincerely anguished over this the last several days.”

As of Thursday afternoon, no additional meetings between the county school board, and the board of supervisors, had been scheduled to discuss the local funding shortfall.

Because a number of teachers were among those who were laid off, several classes on both the elementary and high school levels have been combined, according to the central office.

All of the impacted employees have been notified of the layoffs.

Although state and federal funds are awarded to the school system, a portion of the school board’s annual budget is dependent upon local funding from the Board of Supervisors.

— Contact Charles Owens at

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