“In April, we had a goal of 100 percent — to rehire our limited contract and many displaced employees, and I’m very proud to say working with my team and [Superintendent John Harper], that we have 100 percent. We’re all rehired ... and so all of our limited contracts are back on staff for next year,” Defnall said during Monday’s work session. “Through attrition, we have to date 54 retirees and that doesn’t count any resignations, people leaving, what have you, so that of course has been a big factor in allowing us to do that and we’re working hard to promote moves within as well.”
Harper explained while there is a reduction in force this year, the reduction is based on student population and is not a budget reduction.
“What has happened to us is we’ve lost student population, so with student population you lose staff,” Harper said. “We’ve had two or three schools that have lost some teachers, and that also figured into being able to place some of those limited contract teachers. It’s not a budget reduction in force, it’s a population reduction which resulted in a reduction in force, and that’s an important difference.”
Harper said he appreciates the work of the system’s human resources department in finding job slots for teachers looking to maintain employment.
“Fortunately, we have a fantastic HR department that has worked very hard with the principals to look at those teachers that have retired and left,” Harper said. “Certainly every year we have teachers that come on into our school system after the year starts and they’re what’s called ‘limited contract’ teachers and so through that department with the resignations or leaves that we’ve had, our HR department was able to move those limited contract people into positions in Bartow County so they can continue employment with us.”
In April, Defnall announced the human resources department had initially achieved a 100 percent placement rate for elementary school teachers but was seeking 100 percent teacher employment for FY 2014.
In other school news, Chief Financial Advisor Todd Hooper said the finance department is getting closer to presenting a tentative proposed budget to the board.
“The budget is pretty well near completion, we’re waiting on some final numbers that will have a major impact on our budget,” Hooper said. “This Thursday, the [Georgia] Department of Community Health is supposed to release the expected [insurance] premium increases that we possibly may experience next March, and that’s a big number.”
Since 2011, The Daily Tribune News has reported on the growing cost of insurance premiums to the local boards of education. In March, Hooper reported under the current FY 2013 state budget the cost of insurance premiums for certified staff would increase from $914 to $937 a month.
“That doesn’t sound like much for the remainder of the year, but it amounts to $90,000, roughly,” Hooper previously said. “That’s about a teacher and a half, if you were to put a face on it. These are not just numbers, these are faces at this point.”
The board will hold its regular business session Monday, May 20, at 6 p.m. in the central office boardroom.