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LEAD, S.D. (AP) — A school district in western South Dakota is downsizing its staff as it prepares to face a $1.5 million budget deficit.

The Lead-Deadwood School District is redistributing duties as six employees plan to retire or resign at the end of the school year, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.

“In light of the fact that we are $1.5 million in the red going into the upcoming budget cycle, I think that this is an opportunity to save some money,” said Superintendent Dan Leikvold. “There are at least four administrators that will be involved in that discussion quite heavily.”

The district won’t be hiring for some of the open positions, and instead will fill the responsibilities with existing staff members, said Leikvold.

For example, the district will be absorbing the assistant high school principal position. The district has also decided not to hire to fill a vacant English teacher position.

“We will have two full-time English teachers at the high school, with some staff taking on English teaching duties,” Leikvold said.

The district also seeks to improve efficiency in staff scheduling, according to Leikvold.

The downsizing is in part a result of declining enrollment, which is anticipated to drop from the district’s current level of 680 to 500 by 2025.


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer,