Without an approved tax levy, deep cuts are in store for
Columbus City Schools.
Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Gene Harris presented a
list of possible $25 million in cuts to the school board.
The cuts that presented for consideration and as points of
79 high school teaching positions
24 middle school teaching positions
Shortened school day for middle and high schools by
eliminating secondary electives
Busing for high school students and charter schools
95 instructional aides
Middle school extra-curricular activities, including sports
25 custodian and substitute custodian positions.
"One of the items I'm concerned about is the busing. By
law we don't have to provide busing for high school students. But this would be
a hardship on our student population. I'm not in favor of that," said
board member Gary Baker III.
More than 300 jobs could be cut, but very few from within
the central office.
"These will be very tough decisions that the school
board will have to make. Anytime we are looking at laying off any of our staff,
that is problematic," explained Carol Perkins, president of the school board.
Rhonda Johnson, president of the Columbus Education
Association said that with new core graduation standards coming in 2014,
cutting class time for middle and high school students is detrimental to their
"I'm just hoping that students will be able to graduate
from high school in four years. We keep
doing this and going down that road, high school will be a five-year
program," said Johnson.
school day would reportedly save the district $8.3 million.
elimination of busing would save the district $4.2 million.
of custodians would save the district $2.3 million.
elimination of instructional aides would save the district $1.4 million, and
$506,000 would be saved by dropping all middle school extra-curricular
activities, including sports.
member W. Shawna Gibbs said the board will rely on its values to decide what
stays and goes.
"A lot of
things that are on the table now are beloved by everyone, and no one wants to
cut some things, so we're going to look and really dig deep at a board,"
COTA pass program could also be cut, as well as ROTC, field trip transportation,
and 24 assistants for the English as a second language program.
district released a statement Wednesday, saying that the district is not advocating for the elimination of high school
busing nor for the elimination of middle school athletics, adding that the costs
were included among the list of consideration, and only as a point of reference.