Revised Hanover school budget plan saves eight teacher positions

Eight teacher positions originally slated for elimination are back in the budget proposal.

The Hanover School Board held its final work session for the 2013-14 budget Tuesday evening. Adoption is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Jamelle Wilson, superintendent, presented budget amendments based on board and community feedback. Her original proposal advised reducing 12 high school teaching positions and 12 elementary teaching positions as one of several strategies to close a $5.4 million budget gap.

Last week, $1 million designated for bus replacements was shifted to computer replacement and technology enhancements within the capital improvement plan portion of the $188.7 million budget. Tuesday, Wilson recommended moving $480,000 from the capital improvement plan to spare some teaching positions. What had been a proposal to cut 24 teachers is now a proposal to cut 16.

At least two of the 16 would be taken from the elementary level to reflect reduced enrollment. The specific breakdown of the remainder would be determined following kindergarten and high school course registrations this spring.

“Your recommendation was to restore instructional staff positions to the degree possible,” Wilson told the board. “This movement, this additional use of CIP funds, moving those dollars into the instructional line allows us to do so.”

This would leave $1.82 million for technology needs in 2013-14.

An instructional technology advisory committee is meeting to determine the best use of those funds. Wilson said the committee’s work should be completed in the spring.

No other budget amendments were brought forward Tuesday evening. All other areas of the budget remain as Wilson originally presented it on Jan. 8.

The possibility of charging fees for extracurricular participation, though discussed at length in work sessions, has not been added to the official budget recommendation.

The school division is moving forward with plans to realign the high school schedules into eight class periods, with teachers taking on a sixth period. Wilson said that a schedule alignment focus group has been formed and has held its first meeting. The group includes representation from all Hanover high schools and middle schools, as well as parents and division-level staff.

“We are also asking that focus group to help us define what a sixth class [for teachers] should look like, in addition to what it could look like, and to talk with us about duty assignments,” Wilson said.

“Duty assignments” refers to non-instructional tasks such as hall and bathroom monitoring.

The focus group is considering which duty assignments are essential at each school and how to maximize teachers’ instructional time with students.

Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm