The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Spotsy school restructuring will save $1.1 million
Spotsylvania Superintendent Scott Baker unveiled a school division streamlining plan Monday that cuts staffing by 11 positions and saves $1.1 million for the next fiscal year.
The plan provides roughly $600,000 more in cuts than the School Board had been anticipating, and helped reduce a proposed budget deficit for fiscal 2014 to $3.2 million.
The board decided at Monday’s work session to present a budget proposal to the supervisors next Tuesday that asks them to provide enough local funding to close the rest of the gap.
Baker’s original budget proposal fell $8.2 million short of funding. The revised shortfall is based on updated figures in state funding, a revised projection on health care premiums, delaying capital improvement projects and Baker’s streamlining.
Baker is making the second phase of streamlining cuts. His predecessor launched the effort last year to improve efficiency within the division. He said more cuts may be needed in future years.
Baker’s cuts for the fiscal year beginning July 1 focus on the technology and instruction departments with an eye toward positioning the division for budgets beyond the 2013-14 school year.
Baker said he hopes all employees impacted by the cuts will still be employed with the division next year, just in different positions.
Baker announced the elimination of 43 positions, but 27 of them are systems operator posts that are being redefined and added back to the workforce as new positions.
Seventeen are being revamped as instructional technology liaisons. The other 10 are becoming instructional para-educators as part of a restructuring of the instructional department.
The financial savings in positions comes from eliminating the following 16 positions: supervisor of information technology, supervisor of technology services, field technician, technology resource teacher, instructional director, instructional clerk, two instructional coordinators, two instructional supervisors and six instructional specialists.
Three of those positions are currently vacant.
The division is restructuring the instruction department to improve efficiency and to place subject matter experts in the schools.
The new Office of Teaching and Learning concept resulted in creating five positions and redefining 14.
Fourteen teaching positions will become “teaching and learning liaisons,” which Baker defined as master teachers with expertise in a specific area. His plan calls for them to receive a stipend and planning block for their added responsibilities.
The five new positions will be a director of teaching and learning, an assistant director of instructional technology, and three teaching and learning coaches.
Baker’s streamlining plan also calls for moving the Head Start and preschool programs from the John J. Wright building into four or five schools around the county. That decision is projected to save $100,000 in transportation costs.
Baker did not yet know which schools would receive the preschool programs.
The division will also save $37,000 by switching from its current email provider—Group Wise—to Google Applications for Educators, which is free. Schools spokeswoman René Daniels said many school divisions use the Google package.
The final savings in Baker’s cuts was $28,000 realized by eliminating the use of United Streaming Service. Educators now have access to multiple options for free videos to use for instruction, eliminating the need for a vendor.
Supervisor of information technology
Supervisor of technology services
Instructional technology resource teacher
Instructional specialist (6)
Instructional coordinator (2)
Instructional supervisor (2)
Systems operator positions (27 eliminated)
Instructional technology liaisons (17 added)
Instructional para-educators (10 added)
(14 positions become teaching and learning liaisons)
Director of teaching
Assistant director of instructional technology
Teaching and learning coaches (3)
*Note: Cuts are rounded.