Bibb school board starts 2016 budget talks
The presentation during the board’s work session was only a preview. The numbers presented were estimates because the school district is still waiting on final funding figures from the state.
School officials say the challenge is now to figure out what changes need to be made so they can balance the budget.
“It takes up time to go in and to do a full review and to work with our teachers and to work with our administrators and work with our board to try to come up with a budget that’s going to help us in the sense of student achievement,” Ron Collier, the school district’s Chief Financial Officer said.
The school district expects to get those final numbers after the current legislative session ends.
Board Approves Reduction in Force Plan
The board also approved the Reduction in Force plan for Fiscal Year 2016. About 62 positions are on the chopping block, including custodians, teachers, and principals. This comes after the district consolidated several schools and grant funding for some of these positions is scheduled to end in June.
Those affected by the cuts could apply for other jobs in the school system, transfer, resign, or retire. The board says these employees will have priority over new candidates applying for jobs in the school district.
School officials say this is the same process they’ve used in the past. The board wanted to start it now so those affected can make plans for the future.
Board approves school closures and consolidations
The board also moved forward with school closures and consolidations recommended under the district’s 2014-2019 Five-Year Local Facilities Plan which was approved in April 2014. Board members voted to approve the following:
- The closing of Bloomfield Middle and consolidation with Ballard-Hudson Middle
- The phasing out and closing of Rice Elementary
- The phasing out and closing of Morgan Elementary
- The phasing out and closing Barden Elementary
- The phasing out and closing of Jones Elementary
- The phasing and closing out of King-Danforth Elementary
As a result of these actions, several school consolidations will take place. Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, students at Bloomfield Middle School with merge with Ballard-Hudson Middle school and relocate to the Ballard-Hudson Middle School facility. Students at Burghard Elementary and Rice Elementary will consolidate and relocate to the Bloomfield Middle School facility.
Students at King-Danforth Elementary and Jones Elementary will consolidate and relocate to the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary. The school located on Shurling Drive is currently under construction.
Students attending Morgan Elementary will temporarily move to Rice Elementary while the new Veterans Elementary school is built on the current Morgan Elementary site. During the 2016-2017 school year, students at Morgan Elementary will relocate to the new Veterans Elementary. Also starting with the 2016-2017 school year, students at Barden Elementary and Morgan Elementary will consolidate and relocate to the newly constructed Veterans Elementary.
The board also appointed two new principals at elementary schools. Janice Sharpe was appointed principal of the consolidated elementary school for Burghard and Rice Elementary students. Dr. Shandra Yarbrough was appointed principal of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.