Pike Co. schools likely to lose teachers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Staff Writer

Pike County Superintendent John Key is preparing for the hard part of his job ­ laying off employees.

As he was speaking Tuesday, others at the central office were number crunching in efforts to save some jobs.

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Facing 4.13 pecent in state cuts, the Pike County Schools will likely lose a minimum of four teachers. Those final decisions will be made at the board of education’s meeting Monday night.

Gov. Don Siegelman’s cuts among the state’s 128 school systems range from 2.60 percent for the city schools in Birmingham to 4.58 percent for schools in Greene County.

Overall, the county school system will experience $800,000 in cuts, he said. Add another $163,324 hit to transportation funds.

"It’s the equivalent of $1 million," Key said, explaining $13,566 for fleet renewal was taken away after the school system had already borrowed the money.

Key will be meeting in Montgomery on Friday to get his final number figures, before he has to make personnel cuts next week.

"It’s going to be tough," Key said of the decisions he and the board have to make.

Although he is most concerned for his school system, he realizes he is not alone.

"You will see many more school districts in academic and financial trouble," Key said, predicting what the cuts will cause across the state.

He also predicts the quality of education will suffer.

"Our kids are not getting what they need because of the cuts," Key said.

During the special meeting Monday night, the board:

· Accepted several resignations and retirements.

· Approved School-to-Career travel that is paid for with federal funds that can only be used for that purpose.

· Turned down bids on two houses located on the Pike County High School campus. The school system is trying to get the houses moved, but may resort to tearing them down.