Schools RIF Eight Jobs, School Construction Slowed By Rain, Walking Path Closure Avoided

True to its budget planning promise, Clarke County School Board chairman Barbara Lee (Pine Grove) told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the district had eliminated 8.17 positions from its payroll.  Lee told the supervisors that six positions were eliminated through attrition and one position was saved by offering fewer classes. Lee confirmed that one staff member had been released from service.

New school site - Photo Paula Shipman

After making the reduction-in-force statement, Supervisor Pete Dunning (White Post) challenged Lee’s position by asking about other positions that the school district had recently added.

“But you have also added four IT postions, isn’t that true?” Dunning asked.

“We have removed 8.17 positions and added four new positions” Lee confirmed. “We have saved $225K through our actions.”

Walking Path Update

School Board member Robina Bouffault followed Barbara Lee with a construction update for the supervisors. Bouffault said that plans to close the walking path had changed and the path will now remain open throughout the CCPS spring break period.

“The path will remain open during the entire break” Bouffault said. “We always like to please our public.”

Rain Delay Construction

Bouffault said that inclement weather is beginning to have an impact on the school construction schedule.

“The nine rain days that we’ve had are beginning to impact the construction schedule” Bouffault told the supervisors. “Pouring the cement curbs and parking lot paving can’t be done in the rain.”

Bouffault said that while soggy conditions are making outside work difficult, inside duct and electrical work is still proceeding.

Bouffault pointed out that parts of the school infrastructure are already being used, namely the storm water management pond at the east end of the site.

“The storm water management pond is working as we speak” Bouffault said.

Mosby Street Lighting

Bouffault told the supervisors that Virginia Department of Transportation plans for Mosby Boulevard continue to evolve in a negative way.

“The street lights being proposed by VDOT are very high and very ugly” Bouffault said. Bouffault said that VDOT’s proposed street lights, which Bouffault said were significantly larger than the existing street lights, are being required to span the large distance from the existing easement and across the walking path to reach a point near the center of the street.

 

 

Comments

  1. Rectification: concerning the walking path, the excessive rain has slowed the placement of the alternate path that is to be laid down parallel to the existing path from the intersection to the construction entrance, that will allow the 4 ft cut in the height of the path down to the design level. This is going to be done as soon as is feasible – weather permitting, however the rain has totally soaked the ground, and is having a serious negative impact on Shockey’s ability to use their heavy machinery in the mud.

    The alternate path will be completed as soon as possible, however the ground will need to dry out some more…. with no more rain, of course.

    RRB

  2. Fly on the wall says:

    Hmmm…”level funding” means that 8.17 positions were eliminated, on top of the 5 teaching positions eliminated last year with “level funding”? Doesn’t seem so level to me. What effect will this have on the staff who are still there?

  3. Correction: There were not five teaching positions eliminated last year (FY10). There was no change in the FTE list from last year to the current year (FY11). While some had been originally budgeted for last year due to budget cuts, with the help of the additional federal JOBS fund and stimulus money, this was avoided.

    Unfortunately, from next year (FY12) onwards, this federal aid is no longer going to be available.

    RRB

    • Smellin roses says:

      So, are you saying that no teaching positions were eliminated last year?

      • A seventh/eighth grade English position that was vacated due to teacher retirement was never filled!!

        • livein22611 says:

          Doesn’t make sense to fill a vacant position if it’s not needed. You should staff according to need/demand.

  4. Since 2007, the school division has lost approx. 160 students, down from a K-12 high of 2,204 in FY07, to a current 2,044. Fewer students require fewer teachers. If we take the VDOE standard of 25 students per teacher, a decrease of 160 students would normally mean a decrease of 6 teaching positions. This has NOT happened in our school division, and currently our pupil/teacher ratios are the envy of other school divisions, in spite of four years of budget cuts.

    In FY06 – five years ago – our school division had a total of 125.01 FTEs of K-12 teachers, NOT counting SPED or other categories.
    In FY11 (this year), our school division STILL has 125.01 FTEs of K-12 teachers, NOT counting SPED or other categories.

    The above numbers are taken from JAS payroll statistics.

    However, if the state and federal governments continue to cut as they have been over the last four years, we will not be able to sustain this level in the upcoming years.

    If anyone would like to receive the specifics concerning the above, please e-mail me your full name and address (my e-mail is listed on the school website) and I will mail you the relevant documentation.

    RRB

  5. What about the CCHS secretary; was she part of this RIF?? I notice she is suddenly gone??

  6. The student/pupil ratio is about the only thing I can think of that other school divisions may be envious of. Considering the salary difference between Clarke and surrounding counties (and lack of basic teaching “perks” like Masters’ credits, classes that count toward required recertification, current technology in classrooms and up-to-date curriculums) it seems we’re awful lucky to have retained as many dedicated and experienced teaching professionals as we have thus far.

    I wonder if Clarke’s teaching professionals will choose to “weather the storm” much longer. How many years have our elected “black clouds” repressed our children and our school system?

    Definitely time for new attitudes… new leaders… and, yes, newly prioritized funding for PUBLIC education in our county. Simply pathetic how low our per-pupil funding has dropped compared to those “other school divisions” across Virginia! Our children and educators are truly worth more.

    • CC Resident says:

      If you look at the pay scales for Frederick, Winchester, Warren, etc, we are on par with these counties…and that’s really where the comparison should lie–not with Loudoun and Fairfax.

      • Fly on the wall says:

        Actually…CCPS pays slightly better than Warren. Frederick is better at some points on the pay scale, and we are better at some other points. Winchester pays more, though. In part because (surprise!) they have more commercial and industry to augment residential tax revenues.

        You overlook the fact that, with divisions like Loudoun and Prince William counties paying considerably more and hiring a lot of positions, there’s even more pressure on the good teachers here to make a change. Do we really go back to the way things were 5-6 years ago, with high staff turnover rates?

    • livein22611 says:

      Our teachers do not have to deal with the “over the mountain” parent attitudes either. Except for those who have slid over to this side. And we have behavior issues, but not to the levels they see in Loudoun and Fairfax.
      That being said, we do need more money for our schools. Good luck with the current BOS. And you might want to yell at the state a little too. They are doing NOTHING to help PUBLIC education.

  7. LStanton says:

    My grandkids were telling me that they signed up for classes at the middle school and high school a couple weeks ago. Seemed pretty excited about what they picked, too. What’s going to happen if the teachers who were RIFed were supposed to teach those classes? I don’t care much for politics, but seems to me that the good people of this county have to do something come November to see that the schools get the money for the staff and resources they need to give our kids the best education possible. There is a point at which cuts decrease the quality of the programs, and I’m wondering if we’ve hit that point.