Layoffs are coming to the Maine-Endwell School District and employees are bracing to receive some bad news in the near future.

Superintendent Jason Van Fossen says the district had been fortunate in the past to have a "hefty amount of reserves" that made it possible to avoid staffing cuts.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Van Fossen said the district reduced its teaching staff for the first time last year, when 14 people were laid off.

Van Fossen said the district is faced with shrinking revenue at a time that expenses continue to rise. He said the problem has been exacerbated by the state tax levy cap.

The superintendent said the number of upcoming layoffs "could exceed fifty."

Van Fossen said the move to reduce staff is not a simple one. He said "it's a painful decision."

He said the task will be to "keep as much of what we have" in implementing the cost-cutting actions.

A number of positions to be affected by mid-year layoffs are expected to be identified at the January 10 meeting of the Maine-Endwell board of education.

The remaining positions to be eliminated should be known by late February or early March.

Van Fossen said he will meet with every person who'll be affected by the first round of layoffs prior to January 10.

The superintendent said the district will do all it can to assist those who will lose their jobs in the coming weeks.

Van Fossen acknowledged "these are tough decisions and they're awful decisions."

After the last meeting of the school board, the superintendent said he felt "there was a grey cloud that was over Maine-Endwell." He said "we obviously feel horrific for what's going on and what's going to happen."

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