by Max Brantley
The Pulaski County Special School District has begun the process of trimming payroll for the next school year to cure its budget difficulties.
State law generally requires notice by May 1 if employees are not going to be renewed for new contracts beginning July 1. The district begins at the top in eliminating positions. Spokeswoman Deb Roush said two deputy superintendent positions won't be renewed, but a single new position will be posted for which those employees can apply. Six subject area (such as social studies) coordinators in the central office have been eliminated as well as the staff legal counsel and 3.5 assistant principal jobs. Decisions on teachers and other staff will come later.
Roush said interim Superintendent Jerry Guess remains hopeful that retirement and other attrition will provide most of the slack needed to reduce payroll. She said a number of positions vacated by departing employees already are unfilled.
The district, which is in state receivership for fiscal distress, has been looking for cuts to balance the budget. Negotiations with teacher and support union staffs on an additional $5 million in cuts have so far been inconclusive.