What’s Happening to Our Staff?

Whats Happening to Our Staff?

Abby Pierce, Reporter

A few weeks ago, Olathe school district staff heard the news that shocked everyone. Many support staff and teacher assistants will not be returning next year. This includes library clerk Mrs. Christine Cook, Mrs. Erica Tate and Mrs. Bobbi Truitt in credit recovery, to name a few. After this year, many teachers will no longer be at Olathe South, along with others from the 10 Olathe middle schools and 5 high schools. 

Many wonder why these changes have been made, and the answer is clear: budgeting. The Olathe school district is cutting approximately $20 million from the budget next year and eliminating multiple positions from all schools. 

Although there will be budget deductions for nearly all areas, one that got hit the hardest was the library. The district has confirmed that the position of library clerk will be cut next year, letting go about 15 people total between the middle and high schools. With library clerks being gone next year, this is going to put double the work on Mrs. Amy Brown and other Olathe librarians. 

One helpful solution would be to bring back students as teacher assistants. A library assistant, according to Brown, could help shelving books and keeping the library organized so she can prioritize other aspects of her job. Though Brown and many other teachers think TA’s would be helpful, there’s no guarantee whether they will come back or not. 

All administrators (including district and school specific) have recently gotten large pay raises, while many teachers are completely losing their income altogether. As of 2020, the highest paid superintendent made about $336,000, assistant superintendents are around $120,000-165,000, and principals around $147,000-151,000, which was before their raises, while, according to Kansas OpenGov Database, some of the support staff that are getting let go are making closer to only $14,000-$21,000. 

With this, they only gave staff members 30 days notice to make a decision on their next steps following being let go. According to Truitt, some staff who are old enough may be choosing to just retire now, while others are attempting to find another job to keep an income. 

“We were only left with about a 30 day period to decide whether we would find another job within the district, find another job outside the district, or choose to retire,” Truitt said. “I still haven’t made a definite decision, but I only have a couple weeks left to decide.” 

On top of the assisting staff losing their jobs, those that are retiring are not being replaced. We know that teachers are retiring, yet the question that now needs answered is, what’s happening to their classes? The most likely outcome is that they are going to combine their classes with other teachers’ classes. For example, all of the students that were supposed to be in Mrs. Laurie Plankers’ English class would then be distributed to other English teachers, as Plankers plans to retire this year. This reduction of teachers is increasing class sizes and work load for other teachers. 

Students seem to like smaller class sizes over larger classes, and tend to learn better in a closer environment. 

“I think students learn better in smaller class sizes because it’s more of a tight knit learning group instead of a large group where you don’t know as many people,” senior Maya Domsch said. “Presenting in front of larger groups can also increase anxiety for many students.” 



Kansas OpenGov

Kansas City Star

The Sentinel KC

Mrs. Amy Brown

Mrs. Christine Cook

Mrs. Bobbi Truitt