Jefferson County schools are losing students to several different institutions. As a result, the school system is in the process of cutting several jobs to save money.
More than 300 students are currently enrolled at Jefferson County High School, and in recent years that number has been steadily declining. School officials say students are either being home schooled, attending private institutions or transferring to Leon County schools, and that's forcing administrators to make changes in order to save money.
Superintendent Phil Barker says, "Because of declining student enrollment we've continued to cut instructional positions based on the FTE, the number of students we have, and the formula has worked well on that, but we have neglected to cut non-instructional jobs.”
School officials are considering cutting close to 50 jobs, including several administrative positions and other positions like teachers’ aids and cafeteria workers, all in an effort to save $1.1 million.
The superintendent is recommending cutting some positions this year, saving the School Board $700,000, and in the following year they'll save the additional $400,000, which will total up to $1.1 million.
In addition to job cuts, school officials are considering merging the middle and high schools.
Barker adds, "We will have a whole year to plan for the consolidation of the middle school and high school, and through that year process we will be working very hard on how we accommodate the sixth, seventh and eighth graders."
Barker says the consolidation of the two schools should save the county close to $500,000. A workshop is slated for this Tuesday to address those recommendations.