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100+ school jobs in danger

If funds are not found to replace a projected $3.9 million shortfall in the 2010-11 operating budget for Pulaski County Public Schools, more than 100 school system employees could find themselves without a job next school year.
School officials met with Pulaski County Board of Supervisors this week to present them with an Estimate of Needs for the school system’s 2010-11 Fiscal Year Budget, in light of extensive cuts expected from the state.
Tom Brewster, interim superintendent, said the massive shortfall Pulaski County schools are projecting for the coming fiscal year is not exclusive to this community.
“We’re not the only school system in this position,” he said. “It’s happening across the state.”
“These are unprecedented times,” Brewster continued. “I don’t think we’ve been here (facing a need to cut so many positions) before in education – particularly in the State of Virginia.
He said Pulaski County School Board is looking at alternatives for addressing the shortfall without having to cut jobs. One possibility would be consolidating Pulaski and Dublin middle schools.
But if no alternative or other sources of funding is found, school employees ranging from custodians to administration may have to be cut.
Brewster presented the supervisors with a list of personnel reductions being considered. The proposal would cut 10 administrative positions, 47 professional staff and 48 classified staff.
He said professional staff would include counselors and teachers. Obviously, cutting teachers from the payroll will result in increased class size and, therefore, have an impact on students as well.
Classified staff would include personnel “critical to the operation and management of our building resources,” he said. Classified staff includes clerical and custodial positions.
The proposed personnel cuts would represent 13 percent of the school system’s workforce, according to Brewster. It would reduce administration by 28 percent, professional staff by 11 percent and classified staff by 15 percent.
Brewster said coaching supplements and extra duty pay also would have to be reduced by 25 percent and coaching and extra-duty positions would have to be cut next year.
Asked about the likelihood of retirements playing a part in the reduction process, Brewster said 10 employees are “up for retirement.” Although those employees have requested to retire, he noted about half said they would not retire without some kind of early-retirement offer.
It was noted at the meeting that neither the school board nor the board of supervisors caused the position the school system finds itself in for the coming fiscal year. However, it will fall upon them to find a solution.

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100+ school jobs in danger

If funds are not found to replace a projected $3.9 million shortfall in the 2010-11 operating budget for Pulaski County Public Schools, more than 100 school system employees could find themselves without a job next school year.
School officials met with Pulaski County Board of Supervisors this week to present them with an Estimate of Needs for the school system’s 2010-11 Fiscal Year Budget, in light of extensive cuts expected from the state.
Tom Brewster, interim superintendent, said the massive shortfall Pulaski County schools are projecting for the coming fiscal year is not exclusive to this community.
“We’re not the only school system in this position,” he said. “It’s happening across the state.”
“These are unprecedented times,” Brewster continued. “I don’t think we’ve been here (facing a need to cut so many positions) before in education – particularly in the State of Virginia.
He said Pulaski County School Board is looking at alternatives for addressing the shortfall without having to cut jobs. One possibility would be consolidating Pulaski and Dublin middle schools.
But if no alternative or other sources of funding is found, school employees ranging from custodians to administration may have to be cut.
Brewster presented the supervisors with a list of personnel reductions being considered. The proposal would cut 10 administrative positions, 47 professional staff and 48 classified staff.
He said professional staff would include counselors and teachers. Obviously, cutting teachers from the payroll will result in increased class size and, therefore, have an impact on students as well.
Classified staff would include personnel “critical to the operation and management of our building resources,” he said. Classified staff includes clerical and custodial positions.
The proposed personnel cuts would represent 13 percent of the school system’s workforce, according to Brewster. It would reduce administration by 28 percent, professional staff by 11 percent and classified staff by 15 percent.
Brewster said coaching supplements and extra duty pay also would have to be reduced by 25 percent and coaching and extra-duty positions would have to be cut next year.
Asked about the likelihood of retirements playing a part in the reduction process, Brewster said 10 employees are “up for retirement.” Although those employees have requested to retire, he noted about half said they would not retire without some kind of early-retirement offer.
It was noted at the meeting that neither the school board nor the board of supervisors caused the position the school system finds itself in for the coming fiscal year. However, it will fall upon them to find a solution.

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