District 11 expected to review budget as enrollment drops by 1,000

District 11 expected to review budget after enrollment drops

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs' biggest school district is facing some hardships this year. District 11 has lost more than 1,000 students, making it the largest drop in enrollment for the district.

While there haven't been any final decisions made, the school board is reviewing the budget trying to figure out where they can save some money.

Their biggest priority is making sure the budget cuts don't affect students or teachers.

Drew Livigni's 7-year-old daughter, Stella, partakes in the dozens of programs District 11 offers. Dozens of programs now risk being cut.

"She does some after school stuff at school, you know yoga club, stuff like that. She's always into whatever is going on at school," he said.

According to the district's spokesperson, Devra Ashby, the district has slowly been losing students over the past few years.

"Cost of living is a little higher than it used to be and we have an aging population in our school district. We don't have a lot of raw land to build on so we don't have new housing going up. We also have a lot more competition. There have been three charter schools open in our boundaries," she said.

That's why the school board is considering it's options for the 2019-2020 school year's budget.

Some possible cuts include eliminating programs like night school and even laying off some staff. Though their priority is to keep cuts away from the classroom.

"We want to make sure we keep the best teaching staff that we have and provide the best education to the students in our schools and make sure that students and families are getting all that they need from their school," Ashby said.

The cutbacks come after voters approved a $42 million initiative to help the district give teachers and staff raises.

As of March, enrollment at the district was just under 23,500.

The discussion on where the cuts will be made will begin at the end of March, but the final decision and approval of the budget won't be made until June. 

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