Facing a deficit of just over $520,000, the Russell County Board of Education, in a 3-1 vote Tuesday night, adopted a “reduction plan” that includes laying off two dozen employees.
A couple of changes were made from the initial proposal submitted to the board Monday night by Superintendent Kenny Pickett. Those changes include the school system selling six vehicles instead of five and letting 18 Instructional Assistants go, not 19. The additional vehicle to be sold is a late model, Chevrolet Tahoe purchased several weeks ago from State Surplus Properties for $23,000 for use by the Superintendent. Pickett said the amount expected to be recovered from selling that particular vehicle will save one Instructional Assistant’s job.
The cost-saving measures adopted by the School Board Tuesday night are projected to save just over $559,000. Superintendent Pickett said “having to make these cuts is tough….especially when it results in employees losing their jobs”.
Board members Wayne Gosser, Steve Kerr and Harry Kimbler voted “yes” on the recommended cuts, with board member Debbie Haynes being the lone “no” vote.
The layoffs will become effective November 1st and will include 18 instructional assistants, 1 district technology position, 2 attendance clerks, 2 administrative assistants and 1 custodian.
Other cost-cutting measures being implemented include changing the pay for “substitute teachers” to $65 per day for non-degree substitutes and $75 per day for subs with teaching certificates, plus re-allocating some $175,000 in employee salaries and cancelling ALL contracts for school owned cell phones.
The names of the employees to be affected by the layoffs will be determined Wednesday and will be based on seniority.