The Decatur School Board Tuesday night approved a plan that will cut nearly $4 million out of next year’s budget. Program areas identified for changes are high school French, middle school art, high school DAEP, libraries district-wide and elementary G/T. Superintendent Rod Townsend explained that while those positions will be eliminated, the district will bring back at least one position in each area to continue the programs in some fashion. Other areas slated for elimination are three administrative positions (one from human resources, one DAEP position and another yet to be determined, but will most likely be an assistant principal), 20 teaching positions, six paraprofessional positions, 1 1/2 maintenance positions, the professional development incentive program and vehicle purchases (except for buses bought with bond money). Reductions will also take place in administrative travel and allocations, longevity stipends, extracurricular budget (20 percent, including two coaching positions) and part-time employees. A four-day work week with extended hours will be implemented in the summer. By percentage, the reductions include 15 percent in administration, 11 percent in maintenance, 10 percent in coaching and 9 percent in teaching staff. The district will also have to use $1.5 million out of fund balance.
In a separate action, the board approved an incentive for early notification of resignation. The incentive would pay eligible employees $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the employee step level. Employees must submit a letter of resignation and signed acknowledgment of the terms of the incentive offer to the superintendent’s office from 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning to 4 p.m. April 1. The offer will be limited to the first 25 eligible employees.