The Middlesboro Board of Education approved cutting 10.5 positions for the 2013-2014 school year.
The action came Tuesday night during the regular meeting with community members, students and educators packing the library for a standing room only crowd.
Despite the large turnout, no one from the public asked to speak. Chairman Bill Johnson clarified with the audience that no one had signed up to address the board.
The board unanimously approved the reduction of the positions, citing the need to reduce the budget because of the lack of federal funding and the ongoing KSBIT situation which may require the district to pay a substantial amount of money to cover past insurance issues.
Both the federal funding loss and the KSBIT insurance matter are crippling districts across the state.
“We have been faced with cutting at least the minimum of $960,000 from our budget,” explained Johnson. “Now, this is not money that has been lost or been misspent. It’s just money that grants are not going to be provided for by the federal government. It’s a reduction in SEEK allocations and also with the insurance that we are going to have to buy on the open market due to KSBIT falling through and also with our payment back to KSBIT that will be bonded.”
The board did not go into detail about what positions will be cut, except to say one principal position is being eliminated.
According to Superintendent Dr. Rita Cook, the district decides the number of teachers per building to be cut based on a state formula that uses the number of pupils in the building.
The elimination of staff was not the only big agenda item.
The board also voted to move fourth grade students from Middlesboro Intermediate School (MIS) to Middlesboro Primary School and fifth grade students from MIS to Middlesboro Middle School (MMS).
Additionally, in the future, the central office will be relocated to Middlesboro Intermediate School (MIS) with New Horizons and the Boy’s Group. The preschool will remain at MIS.
According to Cook, the decision to move students from MIS came as a result of a recommendation from the district’s local planning committee. It is the first priority in the upcoming moves.
“The decision to move students from the intermediate school was the result of a recommendation from a Local Planning Committee that met about one and a half years ago,” explained Cook. “The first priority is to move students by the start of school next year. Sometime during the year, the central office will move to the intermediate school.”
The next regular meeting of the board will be April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Middlesboro Independent School Library.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205; firstname.lastname@example.org.