Earlier this month there were 43 notices sent out to Lee County School employees announcing their potential termination pursuant to a reduction in force (RIF). Here is some analysis related to those notices:
Affected Schools- BT Bullock Elementary (8 staff); Southern Lee High School (8 Staff); Floyd Knight (5 staff); East Lee Middle School (4 staff); Greenwood Elementary (3 staff); Broadway Elementary (2 staff); JR Ingram Elementary (2 staff); J Glenn Edwards (2 staff); SanLee Middle (2 staff); Lee Early College (2 staff); Deep River Elementary (1 staff); West Lee Middle (1 staff); Warren Williams (1 staff); Bragg St Academy (0 staff); and Lee County High (0 staff).
Of the 43 total notices, 12 were office staff from 7 schools; 9 were exceptional children assistants from 3 schools; and 22 were instructional assistants from 11 different schools. Why target special needs teacher assistants?
It remains unknown just how many of these 43 notices will actually result in RIF terminations, given that the state has restored funding for all teachers assistant positions and given that the Lee County Board of Commissioners subsequently provided an extra $500K in funding to protect teachers and TA’s.
Another unknown is the rationale for some schools suffering much greater RIF cuts while others escaped relatively unscathed. For example, why would BT Bullock Elementary (our second smallest K-5 school) be punished with 8 total cuts when Deep River Elementary lost only 1 position, and Tramway Elementary only lost 2 positions? Did these cuts have anything to do with which schools lobbied elected officials harder and more publicly? And how is it that the county’s largest school in both students and teachers was not targeted for a single cut, when much smaller schools were to lose as many as 8 positions? Curious minds want to know.