RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – Mad River Local Schools cut six job positions Monday as part of an effort to reduce costs.

The half a dozen staff reduction was approved at the Mad River Schools Board of Education meeting Monday night.

“I understand the finances needed to be in place but my opinion is my kids are not a number, the kids in the district are not a number and you can’t place a value on my kid’s life,” said parent Randi Johnson.

Johnson said her family heavily relied on their school therapist through the pandemic, but now they won’t be returning next school year.

A total of five school therapist jobs will be outsourced next year. Plus, an additional three staff positions and four para aides will also be eliminated, saving the district over $680,000 in savings.

“These staff members who have been a part of this community, some of them for 17 years invested in our families and students, that’s gone as of tonight,” said Mad River Education Association (MREA) President Amy Holbrook.

Superintendent Chad Wyen said the district lost over $887,000 in federal funding due to students leaving the district. Federal funding is roughly 80% of the district’s budget. The MREA said they are asking the district to reconsider their decision for the sake of the students.

“We’re still paying for contracted services so if you look at the bottom line, you have to ask yourself is that minuscule amount in the best interest of your students or is it going to cost us more in the long run,” said Holbrook.

Only one board member voted against tonight’s decision to cut positions. After the board meeting, school officials declined to comment at this time.

The job cuts will go into effect August 1.