Category: A - Newsbreaks
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May 11--  Two area school systems are planning to cut staffing levels next school term.

The Vidalia Board of Education met Tuesday night and approved a tentative budget of $26.6 million including $4.1 million in local funding.  School Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith reports the initial version of the budget includes a reduction of two teaching positions at Sally Meadows Elementary School and one teaching positon and one support position at Vidalia High School.  He says the reductions will be accomplished by not replacing retiring personnel and could be reversed if justified by increases in enrollment.

The Montgomery County school board also met Tuesday night and approved cuts of nine jobs proposed by School Superintendent Randy Rodgers.

"I'm of the opinion is what we are doing is putting ourselves in a position to serve our kids.  We can't be wasteful in what we do and we have to work smarter with what we are getting.  I believe we're putting our resources in the places that will best impact our achievement and the experience our children have," he said.

Rodgers says the cuts will reduce overstaffing at the county middle and elementary schools.

He reports middle school cuts of three teachers and two support personnel will increase class sizes slightly, but still well below state ceilings.  Rodgers says classes will increase from 14 to 15 in a class to about 19 or 20.

At the county elementary school, two teaching jobs and two support jobs are being eliminated.  Rodgers reports class sizes at the elementary school are larger than middle school classes without any negative impact on performance and points to just released CRCT test results.

"I don't think we'll be any less effective.  Something must be working because in our fifth grade 99 percent met the standard in math and in language arts it was 98 percent," he reports.