Danville schools to reduce force

Danville schools to reduce force

DANVILLE — School officials next week have the grim task of handing out pink slips to a handful of employees whose positions are being eliminated next year through a reduction in force.

School board members will hold a public hearing and then vote on the matter at a special meeting on Wednesday.

The Danville school board will hold the special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville. A copy of the agenda is available online at http://bit.ly/10Yr0mq.

By law, the district must notify any faculty or staff member whose position will be eliminated the next year in writing at least 45 days before the end of the current school year.

On Friday, Superintendent Mark Denman said the number of people who will receive honorable discharges has not been determined yet.

"It will be in the neighborhood of five or six," he said.

Officials determined which employees would be laid off using a new reduction-in-force system that considers job performance, seniority and position.

Earlier this week, the board approved eliminating two dozen positions — including 22 teaching positions and a school administration manager at North Ridge and South View middle schools — and making other cuts to save the district nearly $3 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

Denman said most of the positions will be eliminated through attrition. As of last week, 36 certified and 16 or 17 non-certified staff were scheduled to retire.

If there are other resignations between now and the start of the school year, Denman said, employees could be called back, depending on the vacant positions and their availability. However, he doesn't anticipate that the district will receive any more state funding to reinstate the positions, and he said none of the positions that were eliminated are grant funded.

Officials have said the reductions — which also included $956,310 in cuts to the technology, buildings and grounds, and food service budgets, including eliminating four commissary positions — are needed because of projected losses in state and local funding as well as the uncertainty of pension and insurance costs and the effect of federal budget sequestration.

The district is anticipating a $2.4 million deficit at the end of the current fiscal year, due to a drop in state and local revenues, and it expects more drastic reductions in state funding next year. Based on the state's plan for education funding, local officials are projecting an 18 percent reduction in general state aid next year — which translates to about a $5.3 million loss — and an 81 percent reduction in transportation funding — roughly a $1.2 million loss.

Without the cuts, officials said, the district's reserves, which are expected to drop from $20 million to $17 million by July 1, could decrease even more — possibly to $12 million or $13 million — the next year. Only a portion of those reserves can be used to pay salaries and other daily operational expenses, while the rest are restricted funds.

Also at the meeting, Denman could recommend an appointment for the Danville High School assistant principal vacancy and another administrative post. Assistant Principal Phil Cox was tapped to take over as principal after Mark Neil retires on June 30.

The district must also select a new South View principal and North Ridge assistant principal. Last week, South View Principal Brenda Yoho was appointed as the next director of educational support programs, and North Ridge Assistant Principal Kim Norton was selected as the next Northeast Elementary Magnet School principal. They will step into their new positions on July 1.

On Friday, Denman said he may not be ready to make any recommendations yet, so that item may be pulled from the agenda.

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