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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Scottsboro City Schools Board Work Session - Two Part Video Series, Hot Topic Issue Contracting Support Services, June 28, 2016

Scottsboro Board of Education, Page Administration Complex, Scottsboro Board of Education photo, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.


June 28, 2016 Scottsboro, Alabama - Scottsboro City School Board Work Session - Part 1 Appleton Contracting Services for School System Support Positions.

It was a packed house, standing room only, for Tuesday evening's school board meeting. These two videos concern discussion by the school board and superintendent about contracting of support services for the school system. The recent 4% pay raise by the state is not fully funded and has left a gap in financial stability for the local school system of approximately $50,000 according to the Board's President Mr. Daryl Eustace. "No one will be laid-off or terminated so Appleton employees could be utilized." This statement was emphasized by both the Superintendent and the Board President.

Mr. Eustace has stated by filling vacant and retiring support positions with Appleton Contracting employees it would save the school system approximately $50,000. Mr. Eustace went on to say that he would like to utilize contracting services on a limited basis to determine if it was going to work for the school system.

The schools Superintendent, Dr. Sandra Spivey, was adamant that no employees were going to be terminated or laid-off. She also stated the school board must save money. We were in serious financial trouble when I came aboard, she commented. Dr. Spivey further commented, regarding the contracting issue, that children are first but financial accountability must be a high priority. Dr. Spivey asked for input as to ways money could be saved. Regarding that issue, folks should remember the City Board of Education moved from a small single story structure to its current location several years ago which is a huge multi story building for its' administration offices, Page Administration Center. The Scottsboro City School system has a large bond indebtedness. Administrative costs and bond debt has to be a large financial drain on the school system. It has been stated that not all of the city tax money for schools is turned over to the schools system, some is held by the City of Scottsboro.

The local Alabama Education Association (AEA) representative, Ms. Sheila Cornelison,  indicated to me afterwards that she was not appreciative regarding Dr. Spivey's comments about her. The AEA is not supportive of utilizing contract employees. There were several individuals present that had been terminated. It was stated by former employees that 17 positions had been terminated by the school system, these were all support positions. The terminated employees present stated, "The superintendent and school board are not telling the whole truth."  
About AEA: https://www.myaea.org/contact/about-aea/

As a note, the Scottsboro Board of Education no longer allows for sign-up by citizens at its Work-Session. Info from Board President Daryl Eustace - To get on the agenda, a person must call the Schools Superintendent to get permission after discussion with the superintendent. It is my opinion this does not facilitate the concept of citizen involvement in government within the community. County and City government in Scottsboro allow 5 minute presentations by citizens within established rules. When I inquired about this issue, Birmingham School system was mentioned regarding abuses by citizens.Sometimes our local government leadership has forgotten who they work for, the citizenry.

The School Board and Superintendent's job is to manage our school system efficiently and professionally, to provide the best education possible for the children of the Scottsboro area. For the most part this citizen believes they do an admirable job. To not allow citizen sign-ups demonstrates a distrust of local citizenry and does not facilitate participatory government for the people of Scottsboro. The school board should reconsider their policy regarding citizen sign-ups at the school board meetings..

Public Records Disclosure
The following 17 support personnel were not renewed, classified as "non-renewal" according to the May 16, 2016 Scottsboro Board of Education Personnel Agenda and would be eligible to be replaced by a contracted employee:
       1.      BLACK, Michelle – Itinerant Special Education Instructional Assistant, Scottsboro City
            Schools, effective May 20, 2016.

2.      BROWN, Amanda – After-School Program Lead Teacher, Collins Intermediate School,
           effective May 20, 2016.

3.      CAIN, Marcy – After-School Program Lead Teacher, Nelson Elementary School,
           effective May 20, 2016.

4.      CLARK, Desiree – Itinerant Special Education Instructional Assistant, Scottsboro
           City Schools, effective May 20, 2016.

5.      EHLERT, Joan – Part-Time Nurse (Bus Route-Morning), Scottsboro City Schools,
           and After-School Program Itinerant Teacher Assistant/LPN, Scottsboro City
           Schools (based at Collins Intermediate School for the 2015-2016 year), effective
           May 20, 2016.

6.      GRAHAM, Velma – Part-Time Special Education Office Assistant, Central Office,
           effective June 30, 2016.

7.      HALLMAN, Rhonda – Itinerant Special Education Instructional Assistant and Nurse,
           Scottsboro City Schools, effective May 20, 2016. 

8.      HANCOCK, Riley – After-School Program Teacher Assistant, Brownwood
           Elementary School, effective May 20, 2016.

9.      HANCOCK, Taryn – After-School Program Teacher Assistant, Caldwell Elementary
           School, effective May 20, 2016.

10.      HEWITT, Pamela – Itinerant Special Education Instructional Assistant, Scottsboro
           City Schools, effective May 20, 2016.

11      JOHNSON, Molly – After-School Program Lead Teacher, Brownwood Elementary
           School, effective May 20, 2016.

12.      OWENS, Victoria – After-School Program Teacher Assistant, Nelson Elementary
           School, effective May 20, 2016.

13.      PENDERGRASS, Heather – After-School Program Teacher Assistant, Collins
           Intermediate School, effective May 20, 2016.
14.      PRITCHETT, Hartley – Itinerant Special Education Instructional Assistant, Scottsboro
           City Schools, effective May 20, 2016.

15.      RODGERS, Kim – Part-Time Nurse (Bus Route-Afternoon), Scottsboro City Schools,
           effective May 20, 2016.

16.      TALLEY, Cathy – After-School Program Lead Teacher, Caldwell Elementary School,
           effective May 20, 2016.

17.  WHITE, Sylvia – Itinerant Part-Time Special Education Instructional Assistant,
            Scottsboro City Schools, effective May 20, 2016.

Part of an ALEC Plan, "Cashing in on Kids?  http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13054/cashing-kids-172-alec-education-bills-2015

PART 2 Video 


Anonymous said...

Is this 50 thousand a year , per employee, or what on the saving part?

Anonymous said...

perhaps the Board has the answer to this but how is contracting saving money? Appleton will make a profit so if the Scottsboro school system saves 50,000 then Appleton must be able to get the job down for 60 or 70,000 less than the school system could.

Is most of the savings coming from some employees getting a poorer insurance package? (that is what it sounded like from Julie Gentry's comment).

Why can't the school system make changes on its own that Appleton will use to save money?

I would have attended this meeting but did not see it announced in Daily Sentinel or on the School Board web page (last meeting listed in calendar was held in May).