Montgomery School Board cuts more than 240 positions

Posted by: Eileen Jones - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's now official. Expect fewer teachers than last year working in Montgomery Public Schools. In a meeting Monday afternoon, school board members approved the cuts and teachers aren't the only victims of the budget axe.

CLICK HERE to see a table of all three options.

The School Board had three options of cuts to chose from and they went with one that's smack dab in the middle. Option two means, out of approximately 400 pink slips that went out to non-tenure teachers about 100 of them won't be returning. And, 29 assistant principal positions as well as about 11-counseling jobs will also be cut. MPS Superintendent Barbara Thompson explains, "Those A-P's that we are cutting, assistant principals, they also have the right to bounce down into teaching positions. So, first you've got to make sure that you handle those people first."

That also includes counselors. But, some Board members wanted to preserve some of those eliminated jobs by outsourcing positions like custodial help. School Board member Charlotte Meadows is one of them. "We're talking about 100 teachers. Two teachers out of every school. Which one of ya'll know of a school that can spare two teachers?"

But, politics and the name of the organization that represents the school employees A-E-A came up. School Board member Robert Porterfield expressed his reservation. "I don't think that's going to fly. I think what you're about to do is open up a can of worms."

The School Board didn't vote on that suggestion of outsourcing. Instead, it decided to wait to see how other school systems have handled it. Meadows seemed disappointed.  "I've looked at some of the numbers and I read some things from other districts that seem to indicate that we would save a great deal of money and that those people would also be rehired from another outside company. But some on the Board feel as though that's opening up a huge can of worms? They have a totally different relationship with the A-E-A than what I have. What are you trying to say? I'm saying they have a relationship with A-E-A and I don't."

The Superintendent says the cut of two teachers per school will increase class sizes by one.

Option one would have cut fewer teaching positions but more assistant principal jobs and option three would have cut more than a hundred teachers and fewer assistant principals.

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