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February 26, 2014

Southeastern Schools to cut staff

Schools tryingto squeeze out of budget dilemma.

WALTON — Southeastern School Corp. will experience staffing cuts for the coming school year. The district’s superintendent, Trudie Hedrick, said programs won’t be cut, but staffing within programs will be.

Hedrick said she can’t discuss what positions will be cut because that hasn’t been decided yet, but she did say leaders are looking across the board at administrators, staff and teachers, both certified and non-certified, at all three schools in the district.

“No area is sacred,” Hedrick said.

The decision to cut staff stems from concerns of the general fund in the district’s budget. As it stands, nearly the entire general fund — 99.32 percent of it — is used for salary, benefits and student services such as the career center and Logansport Area Joint Special Services Cooperative (L.A.J.S.S.C.), Hedrick said during a board meeting Monday night.

One concern within that group is L.A.J.S.S.C., the special education co-op that provides resources to improve education of special needs children. The program is going through decentralization and employees at each of the co-op’s nine member schools will go back to their own school district. For Southeastern school district, that means 12 aides, six certified teachers and one speech pathologist involved in the program will transfer back to the district’s staffing roll.

The general fund is also supposed to cover utilities and classroom supplies, Hedrick said. The general fund cannot mix with county tax dollars used for transportation and federal monies for Title I grants, for example.

The general fund is made of state tuition funds based on student enrollment numbers, Hedrick said. The student-staff ratio is a concern. Student enrollment has declined, but staff numbers haven’t decreased proportionally, Hedrick said.

“We will need a reduction in staff,” Hedrick said.

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