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Teacher cuts possible in Dover Area School District

An online petition started by a Dover Area School District parent has over 800 signatures so far.

YORK, Pa. — After more than an eight-year battle, Dover Area School District and Washington Township have separated, creating a multi-million dollar budget deficit for the upcoming school year.

However, now concerns are growing that budget cuts may lead to the firing of several teaching positions -- something that has parents in an uproar.

Kara Hetrick, a mother of two in the district, said she felt like she had to do something when she heard the plans from the School Board.

"And I've been going to some of the meetings and listening," she said. "So I started the petition to let everyone know in Dover what's happening and I just felt like not many people were aware of the budget deficit."

Hetrick started an online petition, with over 800 signatures so far, called "Save Dover's Teachers," outlining some of the cuts that have been proposed regarding teachers. 

"I just I worry for what this is going to do to our school system," she said. "If the first thing we're doing is cutting teachers to balance a budget. I just don't think that's a great (solution)."

President of the Dover Area School Board, Nathan Eifert, understands the frustrations.

"We obviously want what's best for our children, for the students of the community," he said. "But you know, we are responsible for running what is essentially a large corporation."

However, Eifert said that right now there are no plans to eliminate any current positions that teachers are in.

“We need to note that no single individual has lost a job at this point or is slated to lose a job at this point," he asserted.

"All of the positions that have been recommended by our administration for elimination at this point are positions that have either been opened up through planned retirements or resignations."

He says they also hate a slate of positions that have remained unfilled for several years that they will not seek to fill.

"We’re not saying to anybody that is currently employed in the district, as a full time person and in a permanent position, that you're losing your job."

As for Hetrick – she’s hoping the lines of communication for the future school decisions can remain open.

"We don't want this to be a fight -- I want us to work together," she said. "I want us to solve this problem."

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