Demopolis City Schools makes staff cuts

Published 11:23 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

In an action directly caused by the shortages brought about by proration and a grim forecast for the 2009-10 state budget, the Demopolis City Schools system cut three positions at its board meeting on Tuesday.

Two custodial positions were cut, providing each of the four schools within the system with two custodians. The board also cut a child nutrition program employee at Westside Elementary School, a position that was added earlier this school year.

“None of these cuts had anything to do with performance or any of those things,” said schools superintendent Dr. L. Wayne Vickers. “It is just a cost-saving measure, as we face proration and as we face what they project to be a tougher year next year.

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“These individuals have been notified of our actions, and based on the Fair Labor Standards Act, they will work until Feb. 6.

“Again, none of these adjustments was based on anything other than budgetary reasons,” he said. “We certainly do not like having to do this. These are good employees. But, these are measures that we have to take to make sure that we are ready for proration and possibly for next year’s budget not being as good as this one.”

Vickers added that the system would not fill the position of Fabulous Fours aide held by Karen Reeves, whose resignation was accepted by the school board on Tuesday.

“We still will do anything we can to avoid making adjustments like this,” Vickers said. “Looking at the budget that we have, and the proration effects and the projections for next year, we have to be very prudent about how we approach it.

“There’s a lot of things on the table from the state level. They’re looking at a variety of things as possible ways of making adjustments. One of them involves changing the divisors for teachers; that’s how we receive foundation units. Another thing they’re looking at is changing the divisor for our classified employees. They are also looking at reducing the student days from 180 to 175. They will know more during this legislative session.”

Vickers said the school system is committed to doing anything it can to protect the classroom, the instructional program and the things that are important to the success of the students.