GREENSBURG — Among the 140 or so letters the St. Helena school system mailed out last week, three carried word that their recipients would not have a job for the 2012-13 school year.
The School Board sent letters to all system employees notifying them of their status for next year, due to a reduction in force policy being implemented to trim the system’s deficit, Superintendent Kelli Joseph said Thursday.
One paraprofessional, one academic interventionist and a noncertified teacher will lose their positions as part of an overall package of cost-cutting measures that will shave approximately $180,000 off a $450,000 deficit remaining through the end of the 2011-12 year, Joseph said.
The reduction in force layoffs account for about $45,000 of that savings, not including benefits, with voluntary retirements and other personnel changes contributing to the rest, she said.
Those changes became a point of contention at Thursday night’s School Board meeting when the board members considered a recommendation to hire another teacher for St. Helena Central Elementary School.
“How can we hire someone when we’re giving other employees RIF letters and letters for not returning?” board member Joyce Porter asked.
Joseph said the teacher who received a RIF letter chose to resign before the end of this school year, leaving a vacancy that must be filled right away.
The recommended teacher is also certified, whereas the one who resigned was not, Joseph said.
The School Board voted 3-1 to approve the hiring recommendation, with Porter voting against. Board members Willie Lee and Alton Travis were absent.
Other business during Thursday’s meeting included:
CONTRACT CHANGE: The board voted 4-0 to approve a change in the superintendent’s employment contract.
Joseph said she took a voluntary $3,600 reduction in pay, dropping her salary to $103,000 per year, to help with the budget deficit.
She is committed, she said, to improving the system’s financial condition and, since being hired in June, already has implemented changes to reduce a $1.4 million deficit from the 2011-12 fiscal year to about $450,000 closing out this year.