The Prince George’s County Council has drafted a proposal to provide the County’s school system with an additional$6 million in funding to reduce furloughs. The Gazette reports,
In March, the county had projected 10 furlough days for 11- and 12-month employees and five furlough days for 10-month employees. But, according to the proposal, $4.5 million will be used to reduce furlough days to nine days for 11-month and yearlong employees, such as principals, and to four days for 10-month employees, like teachers.
John Erzen, a spokesman for County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), said the $6 million is a leftover portion of the 2010 fiscal budget.
“This is money that different agencies didn’t use … . It’s a surplus, so to speak,” Erzen said.
The proposal also calls for 10 full-time media aide positions to be restored at the cost of $400,000.
In addition, 23 12-month positions — 16 program coordinators, two classroom teachers and five instructional specialists — will be converted to 11-month positions, at the cost of $250,000. The school system had initially planned to reduce these positions to 10 months.
An additional 179 11-month positions —26 bus drivers, 22 nurses, 42 guidance secretaries, 35 program coordinators and 54 middle and high school guidance counselors — will remain 11-month positions at the cost of $807,000 instead of converting them to 10-month employees.
Hite’s proposal has been added as an emergency item to the school board’s meeting agenda for today, as all budget items must be approved by June 30.
The school system had initially predicted 800 layoffs, to include nearly 180 teachers, when the budget was approved by the school board in March. However, school spokeswoman Tanzi West said Wednesday the school system will not be accurately able to identify the total number of layoffs until the end of the month.
“[Officials] are still working with the unions and going over budgets,” West said. “There is a lot of attrition due to retirement … so we may not need as many layoffs.”