Mayor’s school task force offers recommendations to help bridge budget gap

A task force appointed by Mayor Jones to find ways to make up the projected $24 million dollar shortfall in the school system has come back with its recommendations. Among them: layoff current non-teachers, teacher attrition, and altering the employee health care benefits.

A task force appointed by Mayor Jones to remedy the current $23.8 million budget deficit in the city’s public school system has completed the first phase of its review. The Schools Accountability and Efficiency Task Force has approved a list of recommendations that would save money to help bridge the budget gap, including long-term reduction of teachers through attrition.

The most notable recommendations are:

  • Immediate hiring freeze, allowing only the Superintendent to fill vacant positions.
  • Reduce non-teacher positions by 50 (up to 27 of which are currently vacant)
  • Require 3 furlough days
  • Amend health care benefits
  • Eliminate employee bonuses

“The recommendations that were brought forward today illustrate what can happen when fiscal issues are addressed with a sense of innovation and urgency. I’m pleased that we have a set of recommendations that should not affect any currently employed teacher or negatively impact classroom learning,” said Mayor Jones in a prepared statement. “The Task Force and the Robert Bobb Group have worked quickly and decisively, and we are now preparing to present our recommendations to City Council.”

The Task Force will present its full findings to the City Council on Thursday, April 19th at 5pm. The next phase of the Task Force’s work will be to scrutinize academic benchmarks and find ways to improve educational achievement.


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