Denver Public Schools to cut jobs in district office as K-12 enrollment declines

Denver Public Schools has placed a hiring freeze on open positions in its central office and will reduce the number of executive-level positions as the district looks to downsize amid declining enrollment, according to an email sent Tuesday by Superintendent Alex Marrero.

Employees who hold senior leadership positions will have to re-apply for their jobs. The email, which was first reported by Chalkbeat Colorado, did not provide much more information on the reorganization, including which executive-level positions will be eliminated, but said that the district plans to announce more details on its reorganization in the next few weeks.

“We are positioned to make some organizational changes that will free resources so we can drive more dollars from the Central Office to the school level,” Marrero told employees, adding that, “because DPS enrollment is declining, the responsible course of action is to find ways to reduce the central budget to adjust and maintain efficiency, as a school budget does.”

DPS is working on its strategic plan, which will address other “inefficiencies” in the district, but it won’t be completed until the end of May, he said.

The job cuts at the district come as DPS, the state’s largest school district, is also planning to close schools in the coming years as enrollment is predicted to continue to fall in the next couple of years.

The district saw enrollment in preschool through 12th-grade drop by 172 people to 88,889 students in October, according to data recently released by the Colorado Department of Education.

Enrollment has dropped statewide as more students are homeschooled and families have moved away during the pandemic. A declining birthrate also is attributed to fewer students.

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