Board Hearing Recap

Last week at the May 15 school board hearing, Media Specialists Deirdre Sugiuchi, Lindy Weaver, and George Webber spoke.  Sugiuchi outlined key reasons for supporting funding for media center paraprofessionals.  Weaver and Webber spoke out against the Reduction in Force Plan, which left media center paraprofessionals out of the hiring pool.

Tonight, Dr. Lanoue recommended the board revise the Reduction in Force plan, and include media center paraprofessionals in the pool.

Last week, several spoke in favor of funding all paraprofessional positions.  The general community consensus is that we should not cut the positions of anyone working directly with students, especially those of paraprofessionals.  Lee Shearer of the Athens-Banner-Herald covered this meeting.

Tonight’s meeting (May 22) had a great turnout.   Several parents offered suggestions for saving money.  Several asked to be allowed to give input on how to make cuts. Several were concerned at the lack of position cuts in upper administration.

Media Specialist Jessica Andrews spoke eloquently in favor of fully funding media paraprofessionals.  Media Specialist Tanya Hudson delivered a beautiful speech encouraging all not to align ourselves into us-vs. them camps, but to consider what is best for the kids (including funding all paraprofessional positions).

For the record, cutting media paras will only save $368,000,  cutting first grade paras will only save $736,000,  netting a total savings of  $1,104,000.

Before this community member left, both board member president Charles Worthy and member Ovita Thornton offered reassurance- the final budget has not yet been passed.  Positions have not officially been cut.  The community needs to offer input.

The final input meeting is this Thursday, May 24, @ 6:00 p.m. at the CCSD Board Office.  Please do your best to attend.  If not, please contact your board members.

Noted: At the May 15 meeting, only four board members were present.  These members attended the May 22 meeting*- Huff, Payne, Spangler, Thornton, Williams, Worthy, and Wright.

*Please add comment if one was missed.

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