SPSD Salary cuts

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 21, 2010

Salary cuts ‘not personal,’ says superintendent

By Rupert Howell

Approximately 50 of 65 professional staff members whose extended year contracts had been cut from 2 to 10 days had signed new contracts by Tuesday’s monthly school board meeting with several more scheduled for contract meetings, Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer told school trustees.

Once Shaffer informed staff how, why and who was cut, most were “on board,” he told trustees but added, some “had acted as agitators that didn’t want to be team players,” and did not accept his explanation.

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“It (cuts) hasn’t been fun but it is still the the right thing to do,”Shaffer said and added, “(It is) not intended to be personal.”

Ten day cuts were given to some working a 242 day contract, Shaffer later explained.  Most cuts were two to five days and did not include teachers working the minimum 187 days but did include assistant principals, according to documents provided to school trustees.

Expulsions of six alternative school students were approved as was the expulsion of one Bates-ville Junior High School student who allegedly struck a teacher while she was in a local business.

Trustees heard reports from each of the district’s school principals. They had been asked prior to the meeting to promote one area in their school that was “working.”

Most of the lower grade schools’ principals spoke of reading programs that had shown sizable gains in students’ abilities while Pope School principal Susan Vance  stressed consistency in all areas as being a benefit to her school.

Junior High principal Leslie Busby said incremental gains were being made in the area of reading at his school and said that gains in the area of reading being made at the lower grades will eventually be reflected in his school.

South Panola High School principal Matt Dillion and Middle School principal Mrs. Willie Chapman attended their last board meeting as did South Panola High School activities director Kaye Smythe. Dillion is going to Pearl High School as principal and Chapman and Smythe are retiring.

Trustees approved the reduction in the amount paid for mileage from 50 cents to 30 cents following an earlier reading of the proposal in a special meeting this month.

Seven used buses were sold with six of them bringing $1,147 each purchased by Hugh Shaffer and one purchased for $1,160 by Dennis Haynes.

The South Panola District Trustee Board meets each third Tuesday at the Parent Center on College Street at 7 p.m.