CHESTERFIELD - The Chesterfield County School District School Board voted last Monday night to eliminate 55 teaching and administrative positions currently filled by working retirees for the 2010-2011 school year as the board works to meet a budget reduction from the state that has left the district in a financial crisis.
The budget reduction from the state will see the per-student cost returned to levels roughly equivalent to the amounts seen in the mid 1990’s.
“Sadly, we are going to have to tell some really good people that they no longer have jobs in Chesterfield County School District,” says Superintendent Dr. John E. Williams. “Our budget crisis is a serious situation and it’s unprecedented.”
Williams also added that the district is making other cuts across the board to help offset the budget deficit to reduce the number of lost teachers as much as possible.
During Monday evening’s meeting, Williams recommended to the board that all certified working retiree teachers and administrators, with the exception of those certified and teaching in special education, be notified in writing that due to the budget emergency, they should have no expectation of employment for the 2010 – 2011 school year.
Williams also recommended that, where practical and necessary, all positions that become vacant for any reason should be eliminated from the budget, adding that all administrative and teaching positions that cannot be eliminated and are presently held by working retirees, must be posted according to district policy.
The school board voted to support Williams’ recommendation.
Currently there are 23 administrative positions in the district that are filled by working retirees, which include district and school-level administrators, district and school support personnel, and district and school-level academic coaches. These positions will be treated the same as classroom working retirees.
Furthermore, the school board reserves the right to negotiate salaries up or down for any rehired working retiree depending on certification, critical need, or other special circumstances.
School Board Chairman Chad Vick said that all areas of the district will be affected by the reduction in employees, including district office, teachers, administrators, and classified staff.
“This is most definitely the toughest year I’ve seen in my six years on the board,” says Vick. “This board was faced with making decisions that are beyond our control. We do not take lightly the responsibility given to us as we try to make choices that are best for everyone. I commend Dr. Williams and my board for their leadership during this budget crisis.”
Williams added that the budget situation is bleak.
“All we can do is make the best of a bad situation,” he said.