The Gwinnett school system said Thursday that it will eliminate 54 vacant central-office positions and "release" some other employees as it copes with an $89 million revenue shortfall for fiscal year 2013.
In the latest statement, Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks said, “Not a single option we are considering to balance next year’s budget is a ‘good’ one. That said, in these difﬁcult budget times, we are committed to presenting a balanced budget, doing everything possible to protect instructional time, valuing our employees, and implementing cost-saving measures wherever feasible.”
Central-office positions generally refers to those at the .
The shortfall is somewhat due to:
- the continued decline in the Gwinnett County tax digest, $31 million for the coming fiscal year;
- the loss of federal stimulus funds that were used to balance previous budgets, $31 million for FY 2013.
- the need to hire more teachers due to growth in enrollment, costing an estimated $4 million.
The GCPS said its reductions include:
- "releasing of all employees hired after the beginning of the school year and retired employees who are working part-time (.49 percent or less). As in the past, once all current full-time employees are placed in positions for 2012–2013, the released employees will have an opportunity to be rehired." This includes instructional personnel, and if they joined after the first of the year, they do not have a contract.
- increasing "most" class sizes by two students;
- reducing the district’s contribution rate to the Gwinnett Retirement System, as recommended by the plan’s actuary — $19 million.
There will be no additional furlough days beyond the current two, and no elimination of instructional programs.
"We cannot expect to do more with less forever," board member Robert McClure told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Compiled by Steve Burns.