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GCPS to Cut Jobs, Increase Class Sizes

Moves part of an effort to address an $89 million budget shortfall.

Gwinnett County Public Schools 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.

“Not a single option we are considering to balance next year’s budget is a ‘good’ one," said GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks in a released statement. "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.”

GCPS attributes the shortfall to a variety of factors including:

  • a $36 million decline in local tax revenue. In 2012, is expected to drop another 7.5 percent in value. The tax digest has shrunk 24 percent since 2008 resulting in $133 million in lost revenue for GCPS.
  • the loss of $31 million in federal stimulus funds that were used to balance previous budgets.
  • an $11 million increase in health insurance premiums for school system employees.
  • the need to hire more teachers due to growth in enrollment, costing an estimated $4 million.
  • an estimated $7 million mandatory increase in the school system's contributions to the Teachers Retirement System.

To address the shortfall, GCPS plans include:

  • reducing central office departmental budgets by another 2.5 percent for $1.6 million in savings.
  • eliminating 54 central office positions to save $2.7 million.
  • ending payments to one external charter school for a savings of $2 million.
  • increasing most class sizes by two students.
  • continuing two furlough days for all employees except bus drivers and school nutrition staff.
  • releasing all employees hired after the beginning of the school year and retired part-time employees.
  • leaving vacant any district-level positions when possible.

The school system does not plan to reduce employees' salaries and will not reduce the number of instructional days or instructional time as they work to address the current budget shortfall.

See the attached pdf for additional details.

M.K. OSBORNE May 21, 2012 at 07:44 PM
population about 70,000 /13,000 enrollment 150,000 for your super . Looks like you may be the one overpaying. you need to compare your numbers to our 1960"s data !
M.K. OSBORNE May 21, 2012 at 07:57 PM
It probably was used as intended by the feds but not in addition to what was budgeted , that amount was used for other purposes . So now that its gone it just means we are back to our regular budget line item with no additional special purpose money.The tax situation didnt get better , it got worse and therefore it will need to be cut once again from the same figures without our play money from the feds.thats my take on it.
North Georgia Weather May 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I am telling you what we COULD NOT DO WITH THE MONEY. what was done on a district level is unknown. I know some of the money helped to pay for our Virtual Field Trip equipment, and some funded an after school program. I can find out what else it was spent on at our school but I can assure you, it did not fund any positions. The Feds like to dangle the carrots and they always come with strings attached.
M.K. OSBORNE May 22, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Exactly NGW , That would have been stupid to hire and start paying only to know that these funds are going away . Now i would expect that from a 150 K super .But Thats not how we roll in the GCPS !
Tammy Osier May 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM
The way cuts were made concerning salaries was the displacement process. X amount of people retired, or left for whatever reasons. Schools eliminated positions and those left without a job were shuffled around to fill the vacant ones. I know. I was displaced a year ago and filled a vacant spot. In other circumstances, they eliminated a position and simply went without it. Now, I'm watching it (displacement) happen again this year with others.

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