In July 22 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
After this month's regular meeting of the Russell County School Board had ended, Interim Superintendent Kenny Pickett confirmed what had been rumored for more than a month as he announced a dozen non-tenured teacher contracts were not renewed at the end of last school year.
"We had to make some cuts because our revenue coming in would not meet our expenditure for this coming year," Pickett said. "We had no choice in that situation."
He said the school board would continue to look at ways to cut costs and save money as this fiscal year moves forward.
"The revenue is not going to get any better," he said. "We were just at the point to where we had to do some cuts to keep our head above water."
Pickett said it came down to not having a choice in the matter that the cuts had to be done.
"We've moved some people but our schools will be staffed," he said. The interim superintendent said there would be a slight increase in child-to-teacher ratio, but that it would still be within board policy.
"That was the worst two days of my life and I've been in the school system a long time," he said. "When you tell a young person that they are no longer occupied … its tough."
He said, barring something unexpected, the positions cut will not be renewed in the near future.
Pickett also announced the district had seven retirees, including two school resource officers retiring and one school secretary retiring. That puts the district at three total resource officers.
He also said all teacher aids will be kept. Several of the cut teachers have already found positions in other school districts and Pickett said he hopes the ones that didn't can still substitute in this district when needed.
School starts on Wednesday, August 4th.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The members of the superintendent screening committee were announced at the meeting. The six person committee will consist of Wayne Gosser representing the school board, Rene' Gossage and Sheila Wicker representing teachers, the PTO representative is Susan Wolford, RSES Principal Kathy Hammond is representing principals and Marla Carnes is representing classified employees.
The committee will be responsible for interviewing applicants for the vacant superintendent's position and will make a recommendation to the board on which applicant they select
Friday, July 30th is the deadline to apply for the Superintendent with interviews slated for next month.
• The board unanimously approved the monthly treasurer's report and the payment of the bills. Marla Carnes said the balance on hand at the beginning of June was $2,302,902.80 and the total cash in the bank for all funds after the paying of all bills was -$475,474.72.
"That large negative fund balance in fund two is due to the June 30 payroll and that was a receivable we have received all that money in the first couple weeks of July," Carnes said.
• Lori Loy was approved and hired as a guidance counselor for Jamestown Elementary.
• The board approved Somerset Foods as the primary food vendor for the 2010-11 school year.
• Contracts were renewed with Hoover and Shearer Law Office as board attorney, Business Associate Agreement, KIP 2010 Student Survey - Memorandum of Understanding, Intrust Healthcare and 2010-11 Corporate Membership Agreement with KEDC.
• The school board heard the second reading and approved a new acceptable use policy for access to electronic media. Upon providing new email access to the school's employees the board was required to implement the new policy based on recommendations from the Kentucky School Board Association.