Tyson Layoffs Could Hurt School Funding in Denison

Aug 19, 2015

Enrollment in Denison community schools will likely drop this year, which means a potential loss of tens of thousands of dollars in state funding. 

On Friday, Crawford County’s second largest employer announced layoffs of 400 workers. Tyson Foods says it will "permanently cease" beef production at its Denison plant due to a "continued lack of available cattle." 

Denison Superintendent Mike Pardun says roughly 180 students in the district have at least one parent employed by Tyson. While he says he anticipates a drop in student population, Pardun hopes it will be small since there are other employers in the area that are hiring.

"We're going to feel an impact. Anytime you lose your second largest employer in your area there will be an economic impact, both for your school and for the region," he says. "Being able to quantify what that looks like yet is hard to do. It's relatively early...But it's certainly something we're aware of." 

Pardun adds so far there doesn’t seem to be an uptick in transfers. The district does an official head count of its student population in October. 

For the 2015-16 school year, the state cost per pupil is nearly $6,470. Funding for the current year is based on last year’s enrollment, so if there is a significant drop in numbers, that impact won’t be felt until next school year.

Tyson says it is encouraging qualified workers who were downsized in Denison to transfer to the company's beef plant Lexington, NE.