The city’s school district reduced its work force by 101 positions largely cutting employees at the central office as the state-operated school system grapples with fiscal challenges, said state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans on Wednesday evening.
82 positions were cut at the administrative or district office and 19 were slashed at the school level, according to a memorandum the superintendent provided to school board members. 7 of the positions at the school level were cut from the Alternative Middle School and 8 were vacant positions, read the memo.
3 principals, 3 vice principals, and 9 supervisors are included in the reduction, according to the district.
“The focus has been primarily on the district office staff. We sought not to impact the classrooms,” said Evans.
The cuts also include 6 classroom teachers. 5 nurses are also being axed.
School board vice president Chrystal Cleaves, who presided over Wednesday’s public meeting in president Christopher Irving’s absence, asked whether the cuts were fully implemented.
“They were completed already? All of these reductions?” asked Cleaves.
“The answer is yes,” responded Evans. The district has been issuing layoff notices to employees over the past two weeks, according to staff members at the school system.
The district faced a $45 million budget shortfall in its 2016-17 budget. Evans proposed a laundry list of program cuts to reduce the gap. He also ended up raising schools portion of the property taxes by 6.4-percent or $2.5 million.
Although the staff reduction will not impact classrooms, the program cuts will, noted Evans. He is also expecting further reductions through retirements and resignations over the summer.