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24 school employees impacted by budget cuts

A total of 24 Halifax County school employees were notified of changes in their positions Thursday and Friday accounting for $395,000 in expenses being eliminated from the $57.2 million school budget, School Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon said Friday afternoon.

The employment changes, described by the superintendent as “budget cuts/modifications,” were approved by school board members Monday night following a lengthy closed door session when they voted to approve the budget “as presented.”

Personnel changes include demotions, transfers to other positions, non-renewal of contracts and reduction in length of working year from 12-months to 10-months for a budget savings of approximately $395,000.

 “There are more budget cuts/modifications to be completed, but most are relative to positions that will move from full-time to part-time or not be filled,” the superintendent said in an emailed release Friday afternoon.

Broken down, these position changes include the following:

• one director moved to a teaching position;

• one supervisor moved to a coordinator position;

• one high school assistant principal and two elementary assistant principals changed from 12-month to 10-month employees plus 20 days;

• one assistant principal moved to a technology specialist position;

• two assistant principals moved to teaching positions;

• one assistant principal moved to coordinator;

• one teacher moved to a paraprofessional position;

• one secondary full-time teaching position moved to a part-time position;

• two secondary full-time teachers’ contracts not renewed;

• two elementary secretaries changed from 12-month to 10-month employees plus 15 days;

• two high school secretaries changed from 12-month to 10-month employees plus 15 days;

• two middle school secretaries changed from 12-month to 10-month employees plus 15 days;

• three elementary secretaries relocated to other secretarial positions within the division making each elementary school except Cluster Springs and South Boston Elementary schools have one secretary;

• one secretary not issued a contract; and

• one full-time cafeteria monitor moved to a part-time position.

More than $1 million in personnel changes and instructional cuts were included in the $57.2 million budget that school board members approved last week on Monday night.

It was two days after school board members adopted the budget before Superintendent Herndon released the final version to the media on Wednesday evening.

Personnel costs account for almost 80 percent of the budget, and earlier the superintendent said staff cuts were necessary to save the money needed to balance the budget.

A breakdown of the budget indicates $19,840,796 accounts for teachers’ compensation with $8,915,647 paid to elementary teachers, $9,956,035 to secondary teachers and $969,114 to homebound/supplements/summer teachers.

Directors’ salaries and benefits account for $157,938 broken down between $76,298 for the secondary director and $81,640 for the elementary director.

A total of $148,347 is compensation for supervisors in the upcoming year’s budget with the secondary supervisor receiving $75,190 and the special education supervisor getting $73,157.

Coordinators’ budget line item totals $226,605 with $184,164 earmarked for the secondary coordinator and $42,441 for the elementary coordinator.

Compensation of principals totals $670,772 with $486,157 earmarked for elementary principals and $184,615 set aside for secondary principals.

Pay and benefits for assistant principals totals $463,933 with secondary assistant principals getting $368,875 and elementary assistant principals getting $95,058.

Instructional aides compensation totals $2,989,611, and clerical personnel pay and benefits totals $853,294.

Other budgeted expenses include $500,000 for substitute teachers’ compensation; $5,296,972 for instructional fixed charges; $1.2 million paid to other schools for dual enrollment; $50,000 for instructional personnel’s travel; $20,999 travel for student organizations; $260,100 instructional material and supplies; $44,657 for library books, supplies and periodicals; $330,483 for textbooks; $585,341 for at risk 4-year-old program; $125,759 at-risk 4-year-old program fixed charges; $4,395,840 for group health insurance; and $89,998 for other instructional costs.

School board members’ pay accounts for $19,200 in the upcoming school year budget.

Other salaries and benefits of administrators and directors include the following:

• Finance director - $64,306

• Executive director of administration - $90,872

• Superintendent - $151,597

Salaries and benefits of bus drivers account for $1,829,185, car drivers get $315,754, and garage employees account for $391,903.

All totaled, instructional expenses account for $38,251,445, administration expenses total $2,440,505, and transportation expenses account for $4,105,165 in the upcoming school year budget.

Operation and maintenance services account for $5,915,863, and food service expenses total $2,850,000.

The total school budget approved last week totals $57,203,630.