Schools expect to have fewer teachers, days next year

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Inadequate education funding and new scheduling requirements at the state level will cause schools in Chilton County to lose more teachers and possibly more instructional days this coming school year.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden said the school system will lose approximately 11 teacher units in the fall, in addition to about six that it lost last year.

“As of right now, we have 438 teachers,” Hayden said. “Based on the current numbers we have from the state, we will earn 427 next year.”

If schools have the same number of students or more, Hayden said, “It’s going to result in classes being slightly larger.”

According to Hayden, the state decides which schools lose teachers and how many they lose based on their attendance numbers.

“I really want to get some final numbers where we can let principals get some schedules in place,” Hayden said. “We’re six days away from the end of school. Everybody has just been in on-hold mode, and it’s tough to do at this time.”

Regarding the school calendar, Hayden said the state Legislature has mandated that schools start no earlier than Aug. 20, two weeks before Labor Day, and finish no later than May 24, 2013, the Friday before Memorial Day.

“We have to go 180 days and have instruction six hours per day,” Hayden said, noting that one option for fitting all required days into the new framework is to tack 12 minutes onto each six-hour day.

The state has asked schools not to make a final decision until after a webinar Thursday, May 17.

After that, Hayden will reassemble the calendar committee, which is comprised of representatives from all schools in the county.

“I want to do it as quickly as we can, but we can’t vote on anything until the next board meeting,” Hayden said. “I’d like to give people some ideas. We’ll have one that I’ll recommend to the board.”