Denver Public Schools on Wednesday told 488 staff members, most of them teachers, that they will lose their job or it will be cut back to part time next year. The majority, 372, are full-time positions that will be completely lost.

Every year at this time the district makes these adjustments to staffing based on enrollment projections, called “reductions in building.” This year the number of cuts is about average compared to cuts over the past seven years.

District officials say the cuts are driven by falling state aid due to declining enrollment. They say families are leaving the city because of high housing costs, and school closures. 

"When you use student-based budgeting and there are changes in school enrollment, this is one of the things that happens -- there have to be significant changes to budgets and a huge percentage of each school budget is devoted towards staffing needs," said Sarah Marks, executive director of strategic human resources support for Denver Public Schools. “But then there are other schools in the districts that will have new needs.”

In fact, the district expects to post more than 1,600 teaching jobs for the next school year. Those occur at schools that are growing, because of retirements and resignations, or for new schools opening in high-growth areas.

Despite the many new open positions, not all teachers who lose their jobs, but apply to a new position will be accepted for another DPS position. And for schools losing teachers, the process is disruptive to programming.  

At the 117 schools affected, committees composed of parents, teachers, administrators and community members were involved in deciding the staff cuts. 
 
Earlier this year, the district cut 157 central office positions due to tight funding.