$1 Million Shaved Off From Teacher's Salaries in Peach County

Peach County, Georgia — Because of the lower state revenues, a number of Peach County teachers will no longer have a job by next year. The cuts were necessary to augment the shortage in state education funds that has topped at $1.2 million. With the recent decision, $1 million will be saved by the school district as 85% of the district¬ís budget accounts for staff expenditures. The teachers who will no longer be back next year have already been given official notice verbally and in writing by school principals last month.

"There's nothing pretty about a reduction in force and nothing easy about reduction in force," said Superintendent Susan Clark. "Any time you make decisions about personnel, it's not easy."

There was no exact number on how many teachers were going to be cut. The cuts were based on performance first and foremost, with tenure only coming next. "I want teachers in classroom who can do the job for students, regardless of whether the teacher's been there for 20 years or two years,"" Clark said. "My job is to make sure we can have best teachers for our children."

A board policy that was put into practice in the June of last year is also one of the reasons for the personnel layoffs. This policy permits the district to cut back on their staff for a number of grounds — including a budget deficit on federal, state, or local levels. "We find it a necessity to be able to operate the schools as best we can," Director of Human Resources Judith Vinson said. The teacher reductions abide the board's decision to implement the four-day week and other cuts, which will lead to larger class sizes. "You finally get down to the point where you don't have anything to cut but personnel,"" said the district superintendent.

State law allows for tenured teachers — those hired by the same school system for four or more years — to request a hearing within 20 calendar days of receiving the notice of contract non-renewal. Those teachers must also be given the reasons for their dismissals.

At the same time, the school system is looking to hire a director of transportation, who will earn between $50,000 to $65,000, depending on individual qualifications, Vinson said.

Peach County's last director of transportation, Harry Goff, left the position in fall 2009.

Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/04/14/1093542/peach-cuts-1-million-in-teacher.html#ixzz0mkCPJlxi