The special-called meeting of the board was canceled when school officials decided to buy four school buses through a loan, saving the district approximately $220,000 this year, according to assistant superintendent Mike Howard.
Board members voted 3-1 Thursday to change a staffing plan previously adopted by the board that increased the pupil-teacher ratio in grades four and five from 22-1 to 25-1. Board member Pam Sherman Sheffield made the motion to revert back to the previous ratio, saving six teaching positions in the district. Board members Myra Mosley and Arlene Brown agreed.
Board chairman Gary Farmer voted against the motion, saying he didn't want to cut any positions but was concerned that the failure to leave a large enough contingency in the district's budget could force the state to take action.
Howard and Superintendent Tim Saylor said the state could remove the local board if it failed to balance the budget.
Howard said the loan plan was “a one-time fix. We can't do it every year.”
Sheffield and Brown suggested Thursday that cuts should come from the central office instead of the district's teaching staff. The board was scheduled to discuss the issue Friday and had little time for delay because state law requires that school employees be notified of layoffs by April 30.