- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Eight jobs that were created at Galax schools through the federal jobs bill, a stimulus package of $326,786, are expected to be eliminated after this school year.
The stimulus package, which will expire in September, covered two years of funding for the recruitment of instructors and salary purposes only.
In 2010, the funds were received, and three full-time substitutes, two teachers’ aides, one secretary, one custodian and one coordinator in central office were hired. Each received one-year contracts in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years.
“We’re hoping to shift these positions back into the budget in hopes of having funding for these positions next year,” said Galax Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill. “The hope is to bring all these folks back, but it will have to be based on funding from the budget.”
However, if no funding can be spared, these positions will be the first eliminated.
Galax City Public Schools is waiting for final state budget decisions to be made in Richmond. Based on Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed budget, it wouldn’t be possible for Galax to continue those positions.
Positions other than those created by the jobs bill are not in danger of being cut, Sturgill said.
“The governor’s proposed budget is not an education-friendly budget,” said Sturgill. “If the proposed budget is approved, Galax Schools, along with other school systems, will have challenges to overcome.”
Sturgill said jobs added under the stimulus funding were created to provide the best benefit to the school system. Galax schools did not incorporate stimulus funding into recurring costs, such as salaries, that could not be afforded after the funding expired. Administration kept in mind that the stimulus funding is temporary.
Funding from the jobs bill was also used to create a 5-week summer program to prepare students for kindergarten. Last year was the first year for the program, and Sturgill said the kindergarten readiness program will be held again this summer.
“We had two classes of children — about 30 kids,” said Sturgill. “When kindergarten had started, these kids had been in school for five weeks, and it was beneficial for these kids who were going into kindergarten.”
Just over $16,000 was used to fund the program, and the same amount is budgeted for the 2012 summer program.
The jobs bill also allowed Galax to create three new instructional periods, including an SAT preparation course, an agriculture class and a family and consumer science class.
Galax School Board will hold a budget work session on March 13.