In a voicemail to teachers Wednesday night, Manatee County School Superintendent Rick Mills said attrition will not cover the 188 staff positions the district agreed to eliminate for the 2013/14 school year.
An unknown amount of Manatee County teachers are likely to lose their jobs as the district looks to cut positions.
“Because of a lack of fiscal discipline and controls, our school district has hired too many employees over the last several years,” Mills said in the automated voicemail. “This overstaffing has cost the district millions of dollars a year and placed an unsustainable strain on the financial health of our school system.”
In March, the district announced it will eliminate 188 staff positions for the 2013/2014 school year to address non-conformance with state class-size requirements.
The district has kept class sizes lower than required in the Florida class size amendment.
The district was staffing elementary schools with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16-to-1 instead of the required 18-to-1.
Mills had said he hopes most of the staff cuts would be absorbed through the district’s average yearly 200-position attrition rate, the number of staff who retire or leave the district on their own accord.
Now, after he announced in April the district will have virtually no fund balance at the end of the fiscal year, Mills had to make a “difficult” and “necessary” decision.
Check back with yourobserver.com and read our May 23 print issue for more on this developing story.