Boone schools may cut positions as grievances, suits continue

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Boone schools may cut positions as grievances, suits continue
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Boone County Schools’ superintendent tentatively plans to recommend the Boone school board eliminate 40 to 45 positions for next school year, but cutting that many will be difficult now that board members have rejected his proposed school closures.

That’s according to Amy Willard, executive director of the state Office of School Finance. Boone Superintendent Jeff Huffman didn’t return the Gazette-Mail’s requests for further information Friday.

“Superintendent Huffman is working closely with his central office staff and school principals on alternative staffing recommendations now that staffing reductions are unable to be obtained through the school closures and reconfigurations,” stated a document Willard provided to West Virginia Board of Education members last week.

Willard’s report notes shortfalls in Boone are continuing.

“Even assuming that the property tax collections for the remainder of [this fiscal year] come in at the same level as [last fiscal year], property tax collections are expected to be $972,710 under budget for [this fiscal year],” the report states.

The state school board is a group of governor appointees who this summer threatened to take away power from Boone’s locally elected school board members if they didn’t make drastic cuts to their employees’ pay and benefits to save money this school year.

The state Department of Education, of which Willard’s office is a part, said Boone’s original budget for this school and fiscal year could have caused schools to run out of money as early as April.

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