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JCPS Deciding Who Gets Cut, But Officials Say Numbers Aren't Final

Certain Jefferson County Public Schools teachers and staff will be alerted soon whether they shouldn't plan to return to the district this fall.

The district's overstaff and layoff lists—which are prepared annually-—are subject to change daily, says JCPS Chief Financial Officer Cordellia Hardin, but the school district must alert the state who it plans to employ by May 15. The district has three separate lists to prepare. One is a layoff list of non-certified employees, which could include teachers assistants, clerks and other school professionals that don’t require teacher certification. The other two lists are of both certified and non-certified overstaff lists, which means employees on those lists could potentially find work elsewhere in the district. Hardin says the district is seeing more early childhood educators and Exceptional Children Education (ECE) positions than in previous years. Part of the reason, as reported by WFPL, is the federal sequester which could include cutting up to 100 early childhood education position. Hardin and other JCPS staff stress that these are preliminary numbers and are subject to change. She adds it’s too early to tell how many overstaff positions could get another position elsewhere in the district.  Part of the reason is also because the district doesn’t know how many people will retire, she says. “Some people have told us they are going to retire July 1. But there are still a lot of individuals who have not made that decision or they have a decision to make whether they even want to come back. And we don’t have that. And typically that doesn’t come in until maybe the latter part of May," she says. Also, the district could receive additional grant or government funding later this year to add the employees back on the payroll, she says. Sometimes, "we’re just not notified until June, sometimes even July, on the grant funding,” Hardin says. Part of the ECE increases is also the result in a drop in the number of students using ECE, JCPS officials says, adding that is a nation trend. This is partly due to early school interventions for some students, staff says. If JCPS doesn’t give specific teachers or staff notice by the May 15 deadline, the district must employ that educator next school year.  Some have already been told they will be overstaffed, Hardin says. But, she adds, “it could be that they can find a position at another school, or it could be they are truly overstaffed,” she says.