MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)-- The Bibb County School District announced today 53 positions will be cut because of grant funds ending and budget overages. Contracts for the impacted employees will end on June 30th. According to a news release sent to 41NBC, the cuts reflect a financial impact of $4.23 million.
Grants ending include the school improvement grant from the Georgia Department of Education, the GEAR UP and AVID grants, and federal grants that paid for instructional coaches. Deputy Superintendent of Operations for Bibb County Schools, Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan said, "we want our employees who are affected to know that we understand their feelings and are working diligently to support them through this process."
41NBC spoke with the school district's communications director, Donald Porter, who tells us those affected were notified today, and the district is working to put them in other positions within the school system if possible. He added, the district will hold meetings tomorrow with principals to get feedback and figure out the best way to go forward.
There was no statement from the superintendent regarding the cuts in that news release.
Text of the news release:
53 POSITIONS DISCONTINUED DUE TO ENDING OF GRANT FUNDING;
AFFECTED EMPLOYEES NOTIFIED AND DISTRICT WORKING TO
FIND SUITABLE POSITIONS THROUGH ATTRITION
(MACON, GA) ‐ The Bibb County School District informed employees in some grant‐funded positions that funding for the positions will not be available for the 2013‐2014 school year. There are a total of 53 positions affected. The financial impact of discontinuing the positions is approximately $4.23 million. A breakdown of positions and the economic impact are as follows:
Today's announcement is strictly a notification that positions are scheduled to be discontinued; not
official notification that personnel will be terminated or non‐renewed. Building administrators will work to secure positions for employees affected. Employees will be considered first for any open positions that become available either in their current school or any school or department within the District.
Employees in these discontinued grant‐funded positions were informed at their schools today. The
affected employees have contracts that will end on June 30, 2013.
"We want our employees who are affected to know that we understand their feelings and are working
diligently to support them through this process," said Dr. Kelley Castlin‐Gacutan, Deputy Superintendent of Operations.
The District will hold meetings on Friday, February 15, 2013, to provide more information to those
affected. Information to be shared will include why the impacted positions were discontinued, options
available for impacted employees, and information on other available services and support.
Beginning tomorrow all certified staff throughout the District will be given Intent to Return Letters asking
whether they plan to return to their position for the 2013‐2014 school year. After these commitments
are returned, the Human Resources Department will identify available positions and will begin the
process of considering employees affected by the reduction. There are a variety of considerations for
employee placement, reassignment, or continued employment. They include, but are not limited to:
professional expertise, effectiveness, overall job performance, program needs, training, tenure status,
level of certification, and length of continuous service.
The affected positions are largely grant‐funded. Prior to accepting any grant‐funded employment,
personnel are informed of the possibility that the position may end due to lack of adequate funding.
According to Board policy, two of the most important functions of the Board of Education are to employ personnel and manage resources with the limitations defined by the funding sources available to the District. Board policy provides the Board with the right to "abolish job positions, to reduce the length of the work‐year and/or salary of certificated or non‐certificated personnel, or to reduce the number of employees when seeking to cope effectively with program changes or financial exigency (i.e. necessity)."
A formal Reduction in Force (RIF) is deemed necessary due to the following reasons:
· Expiration of grants
· Proposed changes in instructional models
· Budget overages
· Proposed changes in delivery of service
Affected grant funded positions include targeted positions involved in GEAR UP (Gaining Early
Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)/AVID (Advancement Via Individual
Determination), and staff supported by SIG (School Improvement Grant), and Instructional Coaches.
Brief overviews of these programs containing most of the positions eliminated are:
GEAR UP is a college access program designed to provide students and families with the
resources they need for college success. The grant was first awarded to the District in 2011 to
follow a cohort of students from what was then their sixth and seventh grade years through their graduations in 2017 and 2018. The GEAR UP grant began providing AVID professional
development to teachers in July 2012 as a means to serve as a catalyst for systemic reform and change in accelerating student learning using research‐based methods of effective
The SIG grant was first awarded in March 2010 by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) when it selected 37 schools from 23 school districts to receive money from these grants. These grant funds, according to the GaDOE, were provided to districts "that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to turn around their persistently lowest‐achieving schools and significantly raise student achievement in those schools." Hutchings Career Center, Northeast High, Rutland High, and Southwest High were selected in the initial selection process, and in 2011, Central High School was selected to begin
Instructional Coaches, funded by Title 1 and II grants, work as colleagues with classroom teachers to support student learning and achievement. The Instructional Coach focuses on individual and group professional development with teachers that expands and refines the understanding about researched‐based, effective instruction.