HPS Superintendent Proposes Teacher Cutbacks - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

HPS Superintendent Proposes Teacher Cutbacks

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Public School District superintendent is proposing to cut about 20 teaching positions to help compensate parts of a $1.8 million shortfall. 

Superintendent Dr. James Bacchus says his plan to lay off teachers must be approved by the Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees.

The board will hold it's budget hearings in June.

However, Bacchus says he has not renewed some teaching contracts related to student support programs involving computer-assisted learning.

He didn't say how many contracts he had not renewed.

The district is facing the shortfall in its 2013- 2014 budget year, which begins July 1. 

"It was necessary to have a balanced budget to get us in that direction," he said.

Bacchus expects to save about $1.2 million by cutting the teacher positions.

The teachers were informed on May 13th of the decision.

"Due to some positions as a result of retiring, we will not refill," he said. "Some people were leaving on their own."

However,  it all comes down to the budget and the school district is seeing major cuts in funding from the state.

"We've received $262,000 less than we received last year."

Locally the district received $60,000 less in funds. Bacchus says millage will not increase but they will request the same amount for next year, $15 million to $16 million.

Another loss of funds came from the average daily attendance of students.

"We lost about $105,000  due to 20 students less on our ADA average last year."

Hattiesburg High School was the one school in the district that was hardest hit by the cut; the district is considering rearranging teachers.

"For every 25 students enrolled they get 1 teacher," he said.

The final decisions on the budget will be made in June.


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