Clayton BOE considers freezing central office jobs

By Curt Yeomans


Any vacant positions in Clayton County Public Schools' central office will go unfilled, if the school board moves forward with a proposal to freeze high-level administrative job openings.

The school board will hold a work session Monday, at 6:30 p.m., at the central administration complex. According to the work session's agenda, one of the topics for discussion will be a proposed "freeze on all hiring, renewals, transfers or any additional positions until the board has had the opportunity to receive, review and adopt the 2009-10 operating budget."

The operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year is typically not adopted by the board until June of each year. However, School Board Chairperson Alieka Anderson stressed that the hiring freeze would not affect school-level officials, including teachers and staff members.

"We don't want teachers and staff members to be concerned about this," Anderson said. "We're just looking at central office jobs. We want to retain our highly qualified teachers."

The move could have far-reaching effects on the leadership of the district. All administrators -- from the highest levels at the central office, to the leadership of individual schools -- are re-appointed, or have their contracts renewed, by the board each April.

One position which could be affected is the staff attorney position which is currently posted on the district's web site. The position carries a salary of up to $106,310. Anderson said the board would have to discuss this position before deciding whether it should be filled.

Also on Monday, there will be a presentation on a revised teacher-contract schedule. District Spokesman Charles White said teachers were originally scheduled to receive their contracts for the 2009-10 school year by the end of the coming week. However, that schedule has been postponed, as officials from the human resources department evaluate the effect of undetermined teacher allocations from the state, and the recently passed federal stimulus plan.

"The stimulus package may affect Title I staffing," White said. White also said he did not know what the new teacher-contract schedule would look like.

Other issues on the agenda for the work session include several updates on the district's efforts to regain its accreditation; the naming of a new high school; redistricting efforts for the new high school; establishing magnet programs at Morrow and Jonesboro high schools; discussions on the international baccalaureate and elite scholars programs, and bus driver and bus monitor uniforms.

The board will also hear a report on disparities between the high schools' end of course test scores, and grades in the corresponding classes.

Board members will vote on inviting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to send a review team to the district during the week of April 13-17; proposed employee compensation for Fiscal Year 2010; secondary mathematics textbook adoption; corrective action plans for needs-improvement schools; the proposed calendar for the 2009-10 school year, and policies dealing with free food services, and board-staff relations.