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Fewer teachers than projected lose jobs in Fayette budget cuts

Belt-tightening by the Fayette County School System cost fewer teachers their jobs than expected.

Required budget cuts for the 2013-2014 school year approved in the spring by the Fayette County Board of Education were initially expected to result in the loss of 144 certified positions such as teachers and 145 positions such as those held by parapros. But staff leaving by resignation and retirement shrank those numbers to 10 certified and 65 classified staff without jobs by the first week of school.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Gray said the initial 144 certified positions to be eliminated decreased to only 10 left to be filled by the time school started. Of those 10 positions, six were counselors for whom no job was found, Gray said. The lack of positions for the six counselors was due in part to the closure of four schools, also done as a cost-saving measure.

Pertaining to classified positions such as parapros, the positions of approximately 60 first grade parapros whose salaries are funded by local tax dollars were eliminated. To accomplish the task, all kindergarten and first grade parapros were told they would be technically dismissed so that school principals could re-hire the parapros for kindergarten classes they deemed to be the best fit for the school.

There is the potential that a small number of parapros or a teacher might be needed once enrollment numbers stabilize in the coming weeks and class sizes are adjusted.

The school system through the eliminations and through attrition realized a cost-saving of approximately $15.5 million. The cuts were necessary to balance the budget.

Beyond the cuts to certified and classified staff, more than a dozen central office positions were eliminated.

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