That's what leaders told state education board members in a presentation Monday. In order for them to operate in the black, teachers and support staff must be willing to take salary and benefit cuts.
"I think the first thing I have to do is if they have any any doubts is convince them that we're in a significant fiscal distress," said Dr. Jerry Guess, PCSSD superintendent.
Superintendent Jerry Guess said the district plans to eliminate 77 positions across the board. That could mean fewer teachers and larger classroom sizes.
Guess said so many classes have few students that the increase would still keep the class size within state standards.
"Our obligation is to those kids and if we're efficiently operating, that simply means we'll be able to do a better job for the students in the classroom," said Guess.
Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers President Marty Nix understands the need for efficiency. That's why the group is willing to negotiate the $16 million the district pays in union benefits and incentives.
"It's compromise on both parts but we've got to be on the same page when it comes to the finances," Nix said.