Madison County School Board's Fiscal Recovery Plan temporarily fixing financial issues

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 13, 2019

MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Last month in Madison County, a motion to close Greenville Elementary School failed. A week later, the school board proposed to layoff 35 faculty members district wide.

Wednesday night, the school board hosted a special board meeting to discuss a fiscal recovery plan.

Madison County resident Cynthia Dell-Langston said following the meeting, "I think what they came up with today is just a temporary fix."

The board's Fiscal Recovery Plan does not provide a long-term solution.

"What we're facing is a risk of losing all of schools in Madison if the board does not take action," Dell-Langston continued.

The proposed plan includes various non-recurring, short terms solutions. The most important are the two furloughed days for faculty and a five percent decrease in salary for the board that will be enacted for the remainder of the school year.

Carol Gibson, Chair of the Board, explained, "It all boils down to dollars and cents, so we have to think very carefully about who we hire and who we need, and look at our population, and make some good decisions."

Part of those decisions is to keep all faculty members for the remainder of the school year.

"When people start the year with contracts, they expect to finish the year. So, that's something we were striving to do, and we have accomplished that," stated Gibson.

However, once the recovery plan ends in June, the motion to remove positions will be re-evaluated.

A retired employee of the district said, "We hope to minimize the number of jobs we have to cut here in the district, but we are probably going to have to cut jobs."

Until then, the community hopes that whatever the board decides, it is for the betterment of their schools.

"If we work hard and work strong enough, we can find solutions, but we always got to be willing to make the right choices," observed the employee.

Come June, the district will reconvene and decide what plans to have in place moving forward.

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