DOBSON — Surry County School Superintendent Ashley Hinson said that, despite earlier warnings of possible job cuts, no employees in the county school system will lose their jobs in the upcoming year due to tight funding.
“We began preparing for this year’s situation several years ago,” said Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson. “We always prepare for the worst case scenario. I want to allay any fears of educators in our school system as well as those in maintenance, cafeteria and throughout the system about loss of employment.”
Hinson explained that county schools have been moving personnel in the system so that they would be able to keep everyone employed.
“The final analysis is we will not have to let people go,” said Hinson. “Many are having to double up in the things they are doing at every level. Many are having to do things they may never have done before. We are just all locking arms and doing what we can so children lose no support and can learn as much as they did with full funding.”
Although the board has asked the per-pupil expenditure to be reinstated to $1,125, county commissioners approved a $1,060 per-pupil expenditure and kept the capital appropriation per student at $5o which was the same appropriation as last year. Additionally, the county board of education had requested funding for major projects that included roofing, painting and paving at various schools. The commissioners did not allocate any funds for those projects.
“The county commissioners have told us as money becomes available they plan to fund some of the paving, painting and roofing projects,” added Hinson. “We are trying our best not to let issues like leaking go too far which would cost us more in the long run to repair. We are patching and holding it all together.”
This is no small undertaking when the amount of funding lost is considered.
The amount lost through the federal Edujobs program alone amounts to $1,879,229. Subtracting a $448,101 gain in money not required to be given back for the 2011-2012 school year from the loss of Edujobs, leaves the system with a $1,431,128 loss.
“We knew at the end of this program (Edujobs) that the funding would not be there,” said Hinson, who also said that the state will “sequester” some Title I monies. These funds, which school systems are required to hold back and be earmarked for a specific use, have been increased from six percent to 11 percent this year.
Hinson stressed that parents could rest assured that their children will be getting a top-notch education in safe facilities. He said children will not be shortchanged because of the budget. Hinson also said the school system will do this in a safe and orderly environment.
“You can never make up the loss of a year for a child,” explained Hinson. “We’re not going to short change these children in anything, ” added Hinson. “In these tough economic times we will see to it they will get what they need.”
Hinson is upbeat about the possibilities in county schools.
“Sometimes when economic times are depressing you tend to focus on the bad and it can take away any excitement over what we’re doing. Every second you spend bemoaning your situation is a second taken away from the positive work of making sure your objective is met,” continued Hinson. “I don’t want us to get wrapped around the axle. I want to focus on the positive. Be assured we have good people. Let’s get excited about a new school year. We’ll be fine”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.