Muscogee Superintendent: fewer teacher layoffs possible - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee Co. Superintendent: fewer teacher layoffs possible

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

After the recent announcement that the Muscogee County School District is eliminating 113 positions, there may now be some good news for teachers and employees.

The number of people laid off may be decreasing.

Superintendent David Lewis said that due to natural retirement, attrition, and newly implemented cost-saving strategies, the original number of 69 current employees who will be out of a job in the upcoming school year is decreasing.

"I'm very pleased to say we are continuing to reduce the number of layoffs on a daily basis, so we don't have a definitive number we're ready to announce yet, but it's less than we had this time last week," said Lewis.

Board member John Wells said he's fighting to keep even more teachers, including the ones who are being let go due to lack of certification. He says they can become graduation coaches. 

"The number is diminishing somewhat, but we still have a significant number," said Wells. "So I'm advocating, if we can save some of those teachers, keep them on the payroll, they won't lose their jobs, they won't have to go home and not be able to feed their children, plus, it's going to be a great thing for us to have graduation coaches and mentors at the high school level."

Right now, less than three out of four students in the district make it to graduation.

Wells called attention to the fact that only one person spoke at the public comment portion of Monday night's meeting.

"You know, the public can show up down here," He said. "If you support teachers, if you support the student in the room, if you support graduates, if you support increasing the graduation rate in Muscogee County, I say they ought to be at the Muscogee County School Board meeting June 16, and stand with me whenever I'm talking about not letting teachers go."

Wells said the money exists to make this happen.  He also predicts that about 100 additional teachers will naturally retire by this time next year.  Wells doesn't know how he is going to get his plan to succeed now that the board has already voted and approved a reduction in force.

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