The school board met at the Cedartown High School cafeteria to vote on a force reduction plan presented by Superintendent Marvin Williams as part of an effort to make up a $2.8 million deficit in the 2012-2013 budget.
William's plan included cutting six CTAE teaching positions at the high schools and three elementary music and art teachers. These cuts were voted on separately from the rest of the plan, both failed to pass in 2-4 votes and were removed from the proposal.
The board voted unanimously to cut other positions including:
The other major item on the agenda was discussion of the four-day school week. Board member Tommy Sanders presented a case for changing to the four-day week stating it was the best solution to save positions and school programs.
Several members questioned the cost savings and the length of the school days if the board changed the schedule.
Williams and Director of Financial Services Alan Melson stated cost savings were estimated between $290,000 and $409,000 depending upon the number of days on the final calendar.
The length of the school day would also depend on the calendar Williams said. Students are required by law to receive a minimum number of hours of education per year. One of the potential problems of the four day calendar is that elementary and middle school students would get out before high school students, which could cause transportation problems for the system.
"I have been on this board for 20 years, and this the the most difficult time we have ever faced," Sanders said. "In the last couple of years we have made all of the easy cuts, it's impossible to make any further cuts without touching the students in one way or another."
"I spoke with the superintendent of Haralson County and he praised the four-day week," Sanders said. "He told me student test scores have increased, teacher and attendance has increased and discipline problems have gone down."
"I just wonder if we could make the change at this point," Board member Susan Berry said. "I think that it would be a real challenge since we've already gone with the 170 day calendar and we've changed to the seven period schedule at the high school level."
Several board members asked for more information on cost savings and scheduling before a proposal be placed before the board for a vote.