Montgomery County Schools administration is making preparations for the possibility of budget cuts in the coming year.
In a recent memo, Superintendent Dr. Dale Ellis told school employees the “possible cuts are necessary to cover for potential losses in state and federal funding and to reduce (the system’s) fund balance allocation.” Ellis said “no clear indication” on the budget is coming out of Raleigh, and he added that “numerous bills and issues on the horizon may impact (the school system) negatively, including additional charter schools and tax credits for private school tuition.”
School administrators have developed a two-tier plan of action, if necessary, with the top-level cuts set to include $100,000 of cuts at the central office and another $650,000 of other attrition. These cuts include resignations, retirements, position consolidations and other employee separations, affecting approximately 15 positions in total.
Officials say consolidations could include, but are not limited to, technology assistants, teacher assistants, secretaries and administrative assistants, media and guidance positions, and a variety of teaching positions, including ESL, core, art and music.
The second layer of cuts could include the consolidation of bus stops, staggered school start times to allow for the doubling of bus routes, and elimination of the FirstHealth Community Health Centers on some school campuses, for an additional reduction of $305,000.
Dr. Ellis emphasized that the cuts are not certain, and that actual reductions in staff would happen only if the school system faces substantial unforeseen cuts. In that event, Ellis said administrators intend to notify the impacted employees in May, “so they have sufficient time to make arrangements for continued employment in another (school) system.”