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Troy BOE addresses staffing

Published 9:23pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Troy City Schools cut five professional staff members on Wednesday in an effort to reduce locally funded expenses.
The non-renewals were approved during a called meeting of the TCS Board of Education and were approved as part of a personnel plan that included the reassignment of two other employees.
“This is never easy,” said Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent. “But we need to do this. We’re following through on the instruction I was given when I got here, which was to reduce local (funding) units. We’ve been able to greatly reduce the units through attrition, and this gets us basically where we need to be.”
Wally Lowery, school board president, said the district has made a focused effort during the past three years to reduce the locally funded units. “What people don’t understand is that when units are locally funded, we have to pay for those teachers, regardless of how much funding we get from the state,” Lowery said. Over the years, the district has moved personnel into locally  funded units even when state funding and enrollment figures did not support the staffing. Those decisions, combined with challenges faced when state funding was prorated or reduced, caused the district to continue to dip into local reserves, Lowery said. “We continued to fund those units even if we didn’t have the numbers for it,” Lowery said.
Hicks said district would continue to fund about three local units, which are required to match state funding.
The non-renewals approved Wednesday include Amy Folmar, Troy Elementary first-grade teacher; Whitney Hester, Troy Elementary special education teacher; Michelle Hicks, Charles Henderson Middle School special education teacher; Nicole Kimbril, Charles Henderson Middle School math teacher; and Rene Donaldson, Charles Henderson High School math teacher. Stacy Carpenter, counselor, was transferred from the middle school to Troy Elementary and counselor Dollie Miller Jones was transferred from the elementary to the middle school.
The cuts come two days after the board accepted two other resignations and one retirement during its regular meeting: Mandy Davis, TES first-grade teacher; Harold Carswell, TES support aide; and Leesa Wood, CHHS English teacher.
Hicks said the board was required to notify teachers prior to June if their contracts would not be renewed, but he is hopeful some of the positions could be refilled and funded through state or other funding, rather than local units. “We might be able to pick these back up,” he said.
The staffing cuts also help the board position itself to address upcoming funding concerns.
On Monday, board members approved an amended FYE2014 budget. The new budget includes $14.08 million in revenue and $15.1 in expenditures and leaves the district with an anticipated 1.2 to 1.5 months in operating reserves at the end of the fiscal year. The original budget had estimated the reserve at year-end would be $1.8 million.
Mickey Daughtry, district CFO, said Monday the amendments included $138,620 in state contracts not in the original budget; $38,806 in federal funding not included; and $102,932 in federal carry over funds from FYE13. The amendment also included adjustments for pass-through and matching funds, as well coding changes on expenses and redirecting of salaries and benefits from a school nurse position to a long-term substitute cost.
In other business on Monday, the board:
• Approved the 2014-2015 textbook adoption (social studies) mandated by the state provided state funding is available to purchase the books.
• Approved contracts for child nutrition services as follows: Borden Dairy Company of Alabama, Cowarts, $117,238.30; Blue Bell Creameries of Montgomery, $5,187.90; Sara Lee Bakery Group/Bimbo Bakeries, Dothan, $24,123.50; Coca-Cola Refreshments, Montgomery, $33,357.25; and Meek’s Pest Control, Troy, $120.
• Voted to retain Wally Lowery as president and Eva Green as vice president.
• Heard an academic report from Cayden Brian, a representative of the Troy Elementary School Beta Club, regarding the group’s participation in a leadership program and service project at Troy University.

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