Formal numbers of how many teachers and staff work at the state’s schools is due in to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today, but an informal survey DESE conducted is painting a picture similar to what was feared last spring. Eighty-five percent of the state’s 524 school districts responded to the survey which shows 1,800 fewer teachers this year as opposed to last and 1,300 fewer support personnel. Department spokesman Jim Morris admits most of the reductions are positions that were unfilled anyway but that doesn’t mean districts aren’t feeling the effects. And, Morris worries things will be even worse next year when many districts’ reserves are used up. St. Louis public schools showed the worst hit – losing more than 600 staff members as compared to a year ago. But on the opposite end of the state, it’s the opposite story. Kansas City school officials report no staff reductions.
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