Bartow schools aim to maintain teachers for 2014
by Mark Andrews
Apr 16, 2013 | 2252 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During Monday’s Bartow County Board of Education work session, Executive Director of Human Resources and Support Services Macy Defnall said the system, at this point, has a 100 percent placement rate for all elementary school level teachers. She said the goal is to have a 100 percent teacher placement rate on all levels during the 2013-2014 school year.

“Our personnel allotments ... are directly aligned to our enrollment. How many students we have is how many teachers we have,” Defnall said. “Our goal is reassigning anyone who may have lost [an employment] slot due to a drop in enrollment at their location.”

She said the human resource department looks at a myriad of different factors when reassigning teachers to a different school, ranging from the needs of the school, based on a principal’s assessment, to work performance, but also takes into account any other certifications a teacher might have. For example, offering a middle school history teacher certified in English Language Arts such a position.

“We’re trying to move like levels and like content areas for the benefit of the employee so that they’re not, next year, having to learn a whole new curriculum and can take their ‘bag of tricks’ with them, if you will,” Defnall said.

She said elementary-level placements were complete Monday with seven teachers to be reassigned for the fall.

Contracts for the next fiscal year are due by May 15 in accordance with state law. Defnall said she hopes to present the school board with contracts by May 13.

“Our goal is, when we come to you [May] 13, no teacher is without a contract,” Defnall said. “So far we’re at 100 percent and we hope to continue that.”

Anne Marie Wiseman, executive director of federal programs and school improvement, reported that each of the system’s 34 Title I, II and II school employees are expected also to keep their jobs next year, despite previous concerns over the federal sequester’s immediate effect on federal Title I, II and III employees.

“About a month ago, I started planning the budget for next year for Title I and I was very concerned over what the effects would be for FY ’14,” Wiseman said. “Every year we tend to lose a little bit of our budget any way, and then I was looking at this percentage of loss.

“We presently have 34 employees between Title I, II and II, 28 of those are teachers and parapros ... so I was extremely concerned if we would be able to keep those positions or not.”

She said by using a hold harmless provision, she was able to use 85 percent of the current federal title budget to set the next year’s budget.

“At this time, unless the feds pull a really drastic cut above what we’re expecting [around 5 percent], I’m planning on us being able to maintain the 34 full-time positions we have in Title I, II and II,” Wiseman said.