WINONA, Minn. (AP) — A host of families are upset over Winona State University’s plans to cut all nine teachers from its children’s center.

The Winona Daily News reported Friday that 17 families sent the newspaper a letter complaining about the move.

Instead of nine teachers, the center will employ only two head teachers and assistant teachers. Current employees will have to reapply for their positions and face $15,000 pay cuts as assistant teachers.

WSU staff posted on the university’s website in March that the center is losing about $150,000 annually and the changes will limit the need to raise families’ rates.

The families said in their letter to the newspaper that the teachers are the heart of the center and all nine are working mothers with 158 combined years of experience in early childhood education.

“It is appalling that Winona State would end the careers of these professionals without notice, discussion or compassion,” they wrote in the letter.

University staff said in a statement Friday they plan to discuss the situation with the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty next week.

The center provides year-round, full time child care.

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