School cuts may be pending

Published 7:26 pm Monday, May 2, 2011

Special education, vocational training and nurses could all receive some funding cuts, along with possibly 11 teaching positions, said Superintendent Dave Hayden at a Chilton County Board of Education work session held Monday.

A balance of $3 million is required in the board’s reserve funds at all times, but, currently, funding is much lower, so the board is looking for areas to make cuts.

“We will have to spend that (reserved funds) to cover expenses along with some cuts,” said Hayden. “It really doesn’t do us any good to cut teachers so we are looking at possibly support people, janitors and teacher’s aides. It’s going to be tough.”

Instead of about 505 teachers employed with the system, the county will potentially have 494. Transferring teachers to different schools was also mentioned.

“There will be quite a few people in new locations,” said board member George Walker.

Eighty-seven percent of the system’s expense is personnel, said Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan.

“If we don’t make some cuts, then the state will send someone to do it for us,” said Yeargan. “We can’t borrow any more money.”

“We’re exploring our options,” said Hayden. “We’re also looking at some of our bond issues. I don’t see how we can do this without some cuts. What if someone from the state comes in and cut, cut, cut and say, ‘You should have done it, now we have to do it.’

“There are four janitors who do not have tenure,” said Hayden. “Then the ones with the least seniority will go next. At the very least we are looking to shuffle some around,” said Hayden.

No actions were taken at the work session Monday afternoon.

Yeargan will work to have a detailed plan to be considered at the next board meeting.