Monday, June 7, 2010

Wayne County School System feeling the Squeeze.

The Wayne County Board of Education reviewed newly proposed cuts, including several cuts to the athletic budget, at a called work session Wednesday afternoon.

Those cuts include a football coach, a basketball coach, the middle school swimming program, the playoff-incentive pay program, some of the security at athletic events, and some sports travel costs, including all summer travel.

Other cuts include six school secretaries, a second school nurse (meaning that the nursing director will also be responsible for a school) and half of the allocation for substitute teachers.

Board Chair Kent Fountain asked that the fuel allocation be reduced by $25,000, to $400,000, on the assumption that gas prices would not rise dramatically during the coming year.
With the latest cuts included, the school system has already decided to cut 54 positions it had last July.

The new cuts in positions don’t mean more layoffs, though. School Superintendent Morris Leis has implemented a hiring freeze and is reorganizing and reassigning school employees as positions become open.

He told the Board that people in administrative positions may have to start teaching classes if the cuts continue.

Even with all of the new cuts, though, the Board is still projecting a shortfall of more than $850,000—based on the expected value of a mill this year.

Much of the difficulty facing the school board reflects years of “austerity cuts” in state funding, accelerated in the past couple of years by a collapsed economy.

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