14 Nov Teacher Buyouts By Paoli School District Amid Budget Shortfall
Photo: Paoli Community Schools
Four teachers will leave the Paoli School District after accepting buyouts from the school corporation Monday.
The buyouts are the result of a budget shortfall in the district’s general fund. Paoli schools offered two buyout plans to teachers: they could work until the end of the school year with a $10,000 bonus, or work until December and then continue into 2018 with half of their salaries and full insurance through September.
Interim Superintendent Gerald Jackson says two teachers opted into each buyout plan. Jackson says he doesn’t know the district’s teacher-to-student ratio but says a big factor in the buyouts is over-staffing.
“We are overstaffed,” Jackson says. “It will make our classes a little larger, but our class size average is 17.7 now and according to all my colleagues you need about 23 per class to be able to float your budget.”
He worries the buyouts will not be enough and the school district will be forced to make additional cuts to meet its budget.
“We may have to risk a few more teachers at the end of the year but we’ll keep [the budget] in line and we’ll be fine,” Jackson says. “I’m hoping we won’t have to do that but it’s looking like we’re going to have to unless something changes. And it could do that.”
Jackson took over as interim superintendent after the forced resignation of Superintendent Casey Brewster. The school board terminated Brewster’s contract in July, citing mismanagement of funds and low test scores. Jackson says he does not think the buyouts have anything to do with Brewster’s resignation.