Elmore Co. schools announce cuts

ELMORE COUNTY, AL - The Elmore County Board of Education has accepted the recommendation of Superintendent Jeff Langham for a Cost Reduction Plan for Fiscal Year 2011.

According to Superintendent Langham, "Now that we have received the official budget from the state, it is imperative that we cut expenditures to make up for the shortfall that has resulted."

No teachers will be losing jobs due to financial cuts. The education budget insured that teacher units would be funded. However, in so doing, the budget left a gap in providing for support personnel. Therefore, support personnel will take a substantial hit.

The Cost Reduction Plan totals $853,000. Of this amount, 63% or $537,000, of the cuts are central office expenditures and 37%, or $316,000, of the cuts are local school expenditures.

Countless hours have been spent exploring every aspect of current expenditures. Since 85% of our expenditures are in salaries and the remaining 15% of our budget has been cut to the core in previous years, we have been brought to the inescapable task of having to cut personnel.

A total of eight central office positions are affected in some manner by the Cost Reduction Plan.

The savings realized from the central office come from a number of factors.

Existing personnel will be reassigned to key roles in the central office. Through restructuring, a retiring Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources (Personnel) will be replaced by Dr. Andre Harrison who will serve as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum/Instruction and Human Resources. Mrs. Celeste Tilley will serve as Interim Curriculum Supervisor to manage the day to day activities of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction previously directed by Dr. Harrison.

In addition to these changes, additional realignments and reassignments in the central office will generate $259,000. Reductions in Technology, Maintenance, and Transportation are also included in the total of $537,000 cut from the central office administration.

At the local school level, the in school suspension program, known as ATS (Alternative to Suspension) will be discontinued. Instead, all 14 schools will be provided funds to support 10 hours per week of either After School and/or Saturday School Detention Programs. "It is our intention not to lose ground in providing our schools with the necessary support to meet student discipline challenges on a daily basis," states Superintendent Langham.

As previously stated, local schools will be impacted to a total of $316,000. Countywide, this means a loss of 13 paraprofessionals (teacher aides), 3 custodians, and 4 bus drivers.

According to Superintendent Langham:  "We have been fortunate during the last two years and have been able to avoid any significant personnel cuts or major reassignments of personnel. However, as we have been stating, this continual onslaught of proration has forced us to make these additional cuts to programs and personnel."

"These cuts could have been much worse; however, any cuts at all are painful because we are dealing with people's lives and their livelihood. The loss of personnel is deeply felt on many levels that go far beyond fiscal considerations."

"Moreover, the true test of these cuts will come next year for the 2012 budget. Unless there are some significant changes in the current financial outlook, our school system could face even deeper cuts next year."

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