Archived Story

Reducing $5.2M shortfall could cost IOW jobs

Published 9:30am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

ISLE OF WIGHT—To reduce or eliminate the Isle of Wight County School’s $5.2 million budget shortfall could mean the loss of up to 65 teaching and administrative jobs. Furloughs, which are unpaid leave, are also a part of the savings suggestions.

This was offered in the options Superintendent Katrise Perera presented to the school board during a recent work session.

On March 1, when Perera first offered the $63.7 million budget for fiscal year 2013-14, there were no personnel cuts included. She stressed then to the board that the budget was “proposed”.

To help narrow the gap by $1.87 million could include: reduce 11 full-time classroom teachers ($590,000); reduce 17 full-time instructional assistant positions ($240,000); reduce two full-time special education positions ($75,000); administrative personnel changes ($175,500); eliminate the Smithfield High auto class ($87,000); eliminate two full-time clerical positions ($60,000); and eliminate four full-time library aides ($73,400) for a savings of $1.3 million.

To help narrow the gap by $3.5 million could include: reduce 11 classroom positions ($590,000); a two-day furlough for all employees ($250,000); delay technology purchases, staff development, hardware replacements and software ($192,000); and reclassify or eliminate positions in administrative personnel ($175,500).

To balance the budget, Perera also offered three options in addition to the aforementioned $3.5 million plan.

The first option would require reducing an extra 28 positions, making for a total of 65 jobs, which would result in a saving of $1.69 million.

The second plan would reduce extra 18 positions for a $1.06 million savings, plus five more furlough days at a $625,000 savings.

The third option would be any combination of the first two ideas, plus eliminating JV sports and non-VHSL teams for a $53,000 savings.

According to the school’s website, Perera “strongly expressed her concern that these options would cause significant direct impacts that would affect both student learning and achievement.”

“I can’t accept a flat or reduced budget because of the unknown foreseen reductions in state and federal aide,” said Hardy District school board member Herb DeGroft in reaction to Perera’s suggestions.

He continued, “I think we’re going to have to have $56 million or $57 million just to present our county’s youth with the kind of education they’re going to need and go out in this world.”

The public can comment on these proposed cuts from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, when the board meets at the county courthouse. Afterward, the board will have a meeting to vote on the budget.

 

  • gduck

    Do away with parks and recreation and use that money for schools.That department is not a necessity,it,s a luxery.Look at the budget and see what they get a year.It,s outrageous.

    Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    @IOW CITIZEN— “I’ve seen the funding for schools
    decrease constantly since 2008 . . . ”

    Do you know what you’re talking about?

    Suggest Removal

    • BlindSquirrel

      IOW CITIZEN is correct. The difference between FY 09 and FY 13 is -9% for the Schools. While the Sheriff is +22%, Fire & Rescue +26%, Volunteer Fire Service +40%, Volunteer Rescue Service +74%, Parks, Recreation & Culture +13%, and Animal Control +10%. All from the figures in the budget documents on the IOW County web site. I encourage you to verify for yourself.

      Suggest Removal

  • skooch

    The teachers should be the last ones cut! How about cutting some of the Administration positions? This school is so top heavy that they would fall over face first in a stiff breeze.

    Suggest Removal

  • IOW CITIZEN

    From what I know, schools do not have the power to generate
    revenues and depends on the local & state governing bodies to
    INVEST in our students future. The real question is WHY DO THEY
    HAVE TO MAKE CUTS at all? I’ve seen the funding for schools
    decrease constantly since 2008 but all other county entity funding
    increase double fold. At some point, we as citizens need to let the
    BOS know what we value most …I say we voice our opinions about
    the value of a good education.
    I hope to see all of you at the forum tonight. I will be there in support
    of the school board and the superintendents budget she
    proposed on March 1st.

    Suggest Removal

  • hawkeye

    Has there beeen a review of the salaries for the administration department heads? Our children need every advantage they can get. Don’t cut teacher/technology services. College and employment opportunities are tough. Our children deserve better. Cut things that can be cut without harming our future…leadership workshops, travel, high salaries etc.

    Suggest Removal

  • whatsatripod

    Funny, where are the cuts at the central office? A lot of high dollar positions for such a small school division. Unless that falls under the eliminate or reclassify administrative personnel. Based on those numbers it looks like maybe two people at the central office would be affected.

    Suggest Removal

  • OMG757

    The public can comment on these proposed cuts from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, when the board meets at the county courthouse. Afterward, the board will have a meeting to vote on the budget.

    Why would they have a public forum meeting over such a hot issue in such a small room? Why not meet at Smithfield High School’s auditorium? Channel 13 News will be attending, better get there early if you want to sit down in the limited seating area.

    Suggest Removal

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