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Richmond County school board approves 2 layoffs, 4 demotions

Monday, July 25, 2011 8:19 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:20 AM
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As a result of the revenue shortfall in the school system's budget and the need to cut personnel costs, the Richmond County Board of Education approved two layoffs and four demotions within the system Monday.

The layoffs include a student services coordinator and a school resource officer. The demotions are transfers that resulted in shortened contracts for the employees or different positions that came with lower salaries.

Acting Superintendent James Whitson said that although the school system was able to save many jobs by transferring employees to new positions, there were still negative consequences.

"Just because I saved you a paycheck doesn't mean I didn't impact your life," Whitson said. "It doesn't mean I didn't impact your career goals. That is the reality, quite frankly, of not having enough revenue to cover the expenditures in our district."

In May, the board announced it had to cut $1.6 million in personnel costs to help alleviate the $17 million revenue shortfall in the 2012 budget. Administrators tried to avoid layoffs by cutting costs through attrition, retirements and the legal transfer of funding sources for salaries. But as the transfer process advanced, administrators found that not all the cutbacks could be made through those means.

Most of the remaining $17 million shortfall was made up through using more than $10 million of reserve funds and imposing furlough days. But a void in revenue required the district to eliminate six positions, resulting in the layoffs and demotions.

The school board called Monday's meeting to vote on the reductions, and the changes were approved by a 6-1 vote. Board member Jimmy Atkins voted against the motion, and Patsy Scott, Venus Cain and Eloise Curtis were absent.

"I do understand that there had to be a (reduction in force) in order to balance the budget," Atkins said. "When 90 percent of our budget is personnel, some positions have to be eliminated ... but some of the reductions in there I personally disagree with."

With the six employee reductions and other transfers, the district will save $1.2 million, according to a memo given to board members.

Because the process of trying to reduce expenditures continues, Whitson said, the district has to constantly evaluate its spending. If the situation does not improve, he said, there's no guarantee more reductions won't be made in eight months when the staff begins to prepare another budget.

"I can't foresee the future, but I don't have any indication that more money is going to be coming from the state or the federal government to relieve our situation," he said. "Our great hope is that no more money is going to be taken away. If we generate less money in either of those places, it's going to impact people."

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Sweet son
10043
Points
Sweet son 07/25/11 - 09:45 pm
0
0
The loss of a resource

The loss of a resource officer is not a good idea but the operative word on the other layoff is 'coordinator.' Mr. Whitson needs to look from his immediate staff all the way down to assistant principals and maybe further to make more cuts. I am sure if Ms. McManus had printed a copy of the Board organizational chart many taxpayers could circle positions on the chart and the educational process in Richmond county would not suffer. Anyone who has over 30 years of service in the Teachers Retirement System can and should retire. Retirement should not just be indicated for people directly involved in the classroom process but should include support services as well. I pay taxes in Richmond County and from the reports regarding Annual Yearly Progress it seems that we are failing except for Rollins Elementary. I hate to bring that school up but it does stand out on reports with it's 10 consecutive years of AYP. Reminds me of the Atlanta Public School System with their problems with CRCT tesing. I will stop but you can see that I am concerned as well we all should be!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/26/11 - 01:58 am
0
0
How much would The Rand

How much would The Rand Corporation and KPMG Peat Marwick charge for
conducting disinterested comprehensive performance and financial audits of the RCBOE and RCSS? Comprehensive audits by competent, disinterested, third-party entities from out-of-state would provide taxpayers the best tools for determining what's really happening at 854 Broad Street.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/26/11 - 07:33 am
0
0
reduced 6 people (four
Unpublished

reduced 6 people (four slightly) and saved 1.2 million? Wow, what were these people making? How about some names and titles the next report.

Cestlavie
134
Points
Cestlavie 07/26/11 - 08:07 am
0
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https://eboard.eboardsolution

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4137&AID=3...

Ms. Beasley, the former principal of Collins and Laney, has been assigned yet another principalship at the new Hornsby school. How many times do you have to fail at a job before the board figures out that school administration is not your forte?? Incredible!!

commonsense-is-endangere
43
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commonsense-is-endangere 07/26/11 - 10:01 am
0
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What a good laugh!

What a good laugh!

Tracey McManus
46
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Tracey McManus 07/26/11 - 11:00 am
0
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Hi Madgerman, I want to

Hi Madgerman,
I want to clarify that the $1.2 million that was saved is from the layoffs, demotions, and various other lateral transfers that occured in the district's staff. I was unable to get a concrete number of how many transfers occured, but at least 10 were approved last night. So that $1.2 million includes many more than the six layoffs/demotions.
Thanks for reading,
Tracey

just float
23
Points
just float 07/26/11 - 03:06 pm
0
0
What about moving the 1-2

What about moving the 1-2 "instructional" coaches per school back to the classroom? They are high on the pay scale because of experience and advanced degrees. They have been turned into data clerks, assistants to administration and make more work for teachers than help. I'm not blaming them personally, but Richmond Cty AYP scores say it all.

914darknlovely
8
Points
914darknlovely 07/26/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
They layoff and demote some

They layoff and demote some employees, which means less resources for students, but some administrators are getting iPads. Priorities are out of order and the quality of education is being sacrificed. Can't wait for elections!!!

eb97
835
Points
eb97 07/26/11 - 05:42 pm
0
0
I agree with you 100%

I agree with you 100% 914darknlovely.

gingersview
0
Points
gingersview 07/26/11 - 07:19 pm
0
0
No, instructional coaches do

No, instructional coaches do not necessarily have more experience and don't have to have advanced degrees. Most teachers have their masters too. They have created a new job postion for Administrative Managers that are supposed to have leadership degrees. The instructional coaches were given only a year contract last year. And, as a veteran teacher, I did not learn anything an instructional coach. There is a difference in a mentor and an instructional coach. Mentors are needed by new teachers but they don't have a separate job - no additional money. Some people don't understand the difference. With all of the furlough days, they really need to look at cutting positions that are really not needed.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 07/26/11 - 07:45 pm
0
0
Instructional Coaches rarely
Unpublished

Instructional Coaches rarely coach. There maybe a few that do their job, but most don't really have a clue as to what it is that they do.

Ms. Beasly will make a GREAT principal at Hornsby. I suggest, if you don't know someone fully, don't comment on their work, unless you can do it better.

iPads were paid for with SPLOST Funds...i'm not sure if you can pay salaries with those funds.

Why not use the SPLOST funds for the TEACHERS since they are the ones who deal DIRECTLY with the students. Most principals probably don't even know how to fully use an iPad anyway.

Sweet son
10043
Points
Sweet son 07/26/11 - 07:46 pm
0
0
What in the heck is an

What in the heck is an instructional coach? Is the position to help studends, teachers or both? I noticed that one of the commenters indicated that she 'worked' for one ?????? Also what is a RCSS teacher? Too many titles and too little teaching!!

@ginger as the saying goes you are spot on. Students desperately need mentors because they are certainly not being trained at home to do anything!!!

Sweet son
10043
Points
Sweet son 07/26/11 - 08:07 pm
0
0
?

?

JUSTICE187
14
Points
JUSTICE187 07/26/11 - 08:59 pm
1
0
What about the School

What about the School Resource Officers that are much needed? But as usual.....cut the feet out from under the little guy. Resource Officers....if they do the job correctly....are mentors....parental figures....teachers....guidance counselors......you name it....they do it.....they wear many hats. Some give of their own time to teach members of the community about gang activity.....which is now an epidemic in our community....what about them being understaffed and underpaid? The protect the teachers and staff on a daily basis!!!!!

loving life
0
Points
loving life 07/26/11 - 09:34 pm
0
0
Rollins Elementary has earned

Rollins Elementary has earned 10 years of recognition. Other schools have done equally well (or better) for as many years as Rollins. Not all schools have been Title 1 schools as long as Rollins, so the figures are not equal when comparing years of AYP status due to some federal regs. More importantly for "Sweet Son's" implication.......Rollins had a State Monitor in the building each day of testing to over see operations. The Monitor supervised distribution of the tests and answer sheets each morning, checked each room during testing, and collected test books and answer sheets as soon as each room finished testing for the day. The monitor then counted answer sheets, placed them in an envelope, sealed and signed the envelope, and saw the tests and answer sheet envelopes placed in the school vault for the night. No envelopes were opened the next morning until the monitor arrived. Rollins also "rotated" teachers for testing. No teachers picked up tests for her own class, administered the test to her own class, or collected and returned tests for her own class. Nobody knows what the future holds, but the past is clear. Rollins scores are a result of hard work on the part of teachers, students, and parents. I understand the news in Atlanta may cloud the opinion of locals when they see outliers. In this case, however, the results were earned and accolades deserved. Way to go, Bullpups!

loving life
0
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loving life 07/26/11 - 09:29 pm
0
0
:)

:)

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 07/26/11 - 10:57 pm
0
0
ilove, Mrs. Beasley is a

ilove, Mrs. Beasley is a great principal??? Okay as long as I don't have to encounter her in a leadership role again. So far she has proven to be a liability for this school district. I guest if you say something enough people will believe it.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/26/11 - 11:34 pm
0
0
(C)'est la vie, Let's add a

(C)'est la vie,

Let's add a comprehensive personnel audit to the comprehensive performance and financial audits I suggested above. Mrs. B has gone from Murphey to Ursula Collins(DB: "Good test score improvements") to CO to Hornsby since 2008. Do we have a performance of "The Dance of the Lemons" here?

Cestlavie
134
Points
Cestlavie 07/27/11 - 10:31 am
0
0
@ iLove - Ms. Beasley does

@ iLove - Ms. Beasley does not have a good track record as principal because she is not a "people person." Personally, I think she did a much better job doing Professional Learning because she seemed to be very effective at organizing those events last year. Being a people person is very important in administration because you have to be able to communicate effectively with the students, parents, staff, and the community. I just think 3 schools (Laney, Murphey, Collins) is proof that she needs to work in a different capacity.

@Craig -- Richmond County has a long track record of shuffling personnel (educators) from place to place instead of doing like businesses and either placing them in a more appropriate position or firing incompetent workers.

class1
299
Points
class1 07/27/11 - 12:52 pm
0
0
With all the cutbacks in

With all the cutbacks in funds, math and language arts coaches need to go back into the classrooms and help the schools make AYP.

Roxy 123
24
Points
Roxy 123 07/31/11 - 01:51 pm
0
0
I personal believe RCBE do

I personal believe RCBE do not have a true commitment to our parents or children. And we pay their salaries. It is said history repeats itself let's look at their tract record. When Larke was superintendent he took advantage of the tax payers. He received more money than what he was ever worth. When he left many others should have left with him. They are the left overs now at RCBOE. We are still dealing with past problems. Let's find a new superintendant now! Of course with our imput this time. If we need to lay off more people to balance our budget than so be it. But not our teachers or anymore furlough days. Start with the BOE. There needs to be great customer service at the BOE because when I call to speak to the superintendant his secretary ask you to leave a message and does not call you back. We are lacking strong leadership and commitment to Parents and our children. When the board spends 4 mil to pay for a school gym floor and Davidsons Magnet needs a new heat and ac system where is the logic behind that one?? Our children needs are more important than a want. Davidson has this need for many years and the BOE has been passing them over. Let's get it done people and stop waiting our school has told you of this problem for several years. As a parent of a teen let all of us stand up and be counted. We need teachers to be all they can be for the student. And parents need to stay involved with their children's education. It is time now to do what is right before school starts. It has been a hot summer. Those young people and staff will need to stay cool. Don't tax us get rid of employees at the central office and use that money for our heat/air system. If this statement work I need some other parents/grandparents to go with me to BOE and make our voices heard!!

Roxy 123
24
Points
Roxy 123 04/20/12 - 06:51 pm
0
0
We have yet to have any

We have yet to have any superintendent to represent Richmond County Schools. Why hasn't anyone on the board fire or let go of Robertson. He has been unable to work and yet he is drawing a good salary. What's up with that. Who are you people afraid of? Next school year will be upon us soon. Begin your search for a new superintendent today!!! Know wonder people leave Richmond County. I would if I could afford it too!

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