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Up to 5 school buildings could be closing in JeffCo Public Schools

Posted at 7:25 PM, Jan 26, 2017

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Standing in front of a Denver7 TV camera to talk about potential school building closures, staff reassignments and other budget cuts is about the last thing Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee wanted to do Thursday afternoon.

The news never gets any easier when talking about major budget slashing.

However, this round of cuts to the tune of $25 million comes with an immediate benefit to district employees too, McMinimee said.

Last year, the board of education directed McMinimee to find $25 million for staff raises.

McMinimee said Thursday that on average, JeffCo employees are paid between $15 to $20,000 less per year than other competing metro districts.

“It's not just teachers, it's all of our staff: Food service, transportation, administrators -- and we feel like we really need to make a difference in terms of the amount of dollars that we put into compensation," said McMinimee.

Five schools are on the proposal that district office has put together for the board.

McMinimee said staff members at those schools have already been notified of the potential closures, but those employees should be able to find jobs elsewhere in the district.

“We're talking probably less than 200 people will be impacted by school closures in terms of staff, so we feel really comfortable that we'll have opportunities for them to fit somewhere else in our system," said McMinimee

While portions of the JeffCo school district are booming, McMinimee said others such as Northeast Arvada, East Lakewood and Southern Jefferson County, are stagnant and leave room for consolidation and better use of district funds.

“We have areas and neighborhoods in our district that have been in decline for 15, 20 years and families aren't moving into those areas, or they're moving in at such a small rate, you're never going to get back to where those schools were," said McMinimee.

Decisions on any closures or budget cuts won’t be made right away.

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