Possible staff cuts to Hot Springs School District has community outraged

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HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The Hot Springs School District needs to reduce its budget by more then $400,000. As part of the reduction, the district plans to eliminate 2.5 full-time positions, transfer staff and have some employees take on more duties.

There was outrage during the public comment period during the District's Business Meeting, especially concerning the proposal to make two full-time counselor positions part-time. And to have one teacher for both band and choir. Which the public worries will make the music department at the school suffer. One student told the board she could do a better job than they are doing in this situation. Others said the board needed to consider different options.

Christ Christensen, Hot Springs High School Guidance Counselor, currently has his job on the line and told us the administration has handled this poorly.

"It's really difficult as an educator because a lot of times people [say], 'Oh they're just mouthing off or we're, you know, whistle blowers.' Or things like that. I think a lot of it had to do with that there [were] things that were almost secretive. [They were] not brought to attention. I think they talk about transparency and they've talked with us individually. But, I don't believe the transparency is there," said Christensen.

Hot Springs Superintendent Kevin Coles would not talk on camera but said in a statement, "We are working to provide solutions that will have the least impact on all of our students and staff, knowing that not everyone will agree with these decisions."

Also on the chopping block is the renewal of software programs, such as: NWEA and extracurricular areas. A final decision will be made at a later time.