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School systems outlooks better

Federal stimulus money will save jobs in Pike County Schools, but it may not be quite as generous for Troy’s school system.

While Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith said the federal funding will ease job losses this year, it won’t help completely.

“There will be some non-renewals even with stimulus funds,” Felton-Smith said. “There will not be as many positions non-renewed due to funding as I had anticipated early on.”

Felton-Smith did not say how many non-renewals the school system would have to make, even after shifting funds for positions under different budget categories.

“Any time you have to non-renew due to funding is devastating but not as devastating as it could have been,” Felton-Smith said. “We had to be very cautious with positions because stimulus funds are only available for two years.”

For Pike County Schools, Superintendent Mark Bazzell said stimulus funding may stretch a little further.

“Right now we’re not cutting positions because of funding concerns,” Bazzell said. “Back in February, the outlook was bleak, and we talked at one time of the possibility of losing 11 or 12 teaching units and at least that many support staff members. Had we not had the stimulus money, we definitely would have lost those positions.”

Both school boards will hold special meetings today to make these and other personnel decisions, including accepting retirements and resignations.

Pike County Schools had planned to hire a new principal for Goshen Elementary School, to replace interim Jackie Hall, but Bazzell said the board will not be ready to do that today.

“We will not be able to make a recommendation for that position at this meeting, but we will definitely be able to do that in June,” Bazzell said.

Pike County will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the board room, and Troy City will meet at 11:30 a.m. in its central office.