Lynchburg City School Board members voted Tuesday to approve a planto eliminate 42.4 positions from the school division, throughlayoffs and attrition. Their approval of the annual personnel report Tuesday nightofficially enacted the division"s Reduction In Force. School leaders previously spoke of cutting about 47 positions, aspart of their 2012-13 school budget. Special "class sizereduction" money, added to the state budget late in thelegislative process, helped save about nine teaching positions. |
Director of Facilities Steve Gatzke identified another fivepositions to eliminate as part of a plan to save $685,000 onmaintenance and custodial services. Those positions now areincluded in the total figure, Superintendent Scott Brabrand said. "It is still 42 too many in my view," he said duringthe meeting, seconded by board member Al Billingsly. "I have a heavy heart as well," Billingsly said."This is too many years in a row that we have donethis." The majority of the instructional position cuts fall at thedivision"s middle and high schools, in subjects ranging fromEnglish and math to chorus and foreign languages, according to thepersonnel report list.
The plan also eliminates the equivalent of eight full-timeinstructional technology specialists, four instructionalassistants, and a series of central office administrative staffpositions, including the now vacant Public Information Officerslot. Gatzke told school board members the division couldn"treasonably cut more custodians this year, given the staff cuts thathave taken place over the past few budget seasons. Instead, administrators targeted the Supervisor and FieldCoordinator of Environmental Services positions, in addition to awarehouse clerk, a deliveryman, and a maintenance technician, for atotal of about $195,000. Further cuts to maintenance service contracts, cleaning andmaintenance supplies, machinery and equipment replacement andfurniture and fixtures could result in another $157,000.
Changes inutilities, including energy savings, could provide another$648,000. Part of the plan to ensure cleaner buildings, Gatzke said, is toreemphasize principals and building administrators are thesupervisors of custodial staff. In response to a board member question, Gatzke said that"salways been the case, but changes to custodial services in recentyears blurred the lines. "Quite frankly the custodial crews didn't quite know who theyreported to," he said. His hope is to reestablish building-level accountability, as wellas instituting a monthly cleanliness inspection of the schools.
For the first time, teachers will be able to put their maintenancerequests into the system themselves, Gatzke added, freeing themfrom the step of contacting the school secretary to place or tracktheir request. He told school board members he wasn"t worried about apotential uptick in maintenance requests. "We would rather know what the problems are," he said.
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