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UCPS returns $1.65 million to County Commissioners, as promised

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis addresses the Board of Education in a recent board meeting. Also pictured is Board Chairman John Collins.

It’s official – the Union County Board of Education is returning $1.65 million to the Union County Commissioners as promised.

During a specially called Board of Education meeting on June 26, 2012, the Union County Board of Education accepted the County Commissioners’ appropriation of $1,650,000 to cover the anticipated shortfall in the State’s 2012-2013 budget.

State allotments for 2012-2013 would fund 295 positions. The additional $1.65 million made it possible to fund the remaining 55 teacher assistant positions of the 350 employed by UCPS at fiscal year end 2012.

The School Board promised that any portion of the $1.65 million not needed to rehire the teacher assistants would be returned to the county. With the additional appropriation in hand, UCPS reached out to each of the 350 teacher assistants who had been employed at the end of the 2011-2012 school year offering a position for the new year.

“We are appreciative of the additional allotment made by the County and of the parents and community members who passionately advocated for the children,” said Mr. John Collins, UCPS School Board Chair. “I am grateful that we were able to retain the positions. I’m equally grateful the Commissioners were willing to stretch their budget in the event all of the Teacher Assistants opted to return.”

292 teacher assistants returned. Some of those not returning listed retirement, new positions, or moves as reasons they would not be returning. State funding was sufficient to pay the returning teacher assistants, leaving the $1.65 million unneeded for this expense.

Upon UCPS Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis’ recommendation, the Board of Education unanimously approved the return of $1.65 million at its October 2, 2012 meeting. Dr. Ellis said, “I gave my word that if we did not need this money for this reason, we would return it.

When asked, Dr. Ellis went on to say, “There are others areas of need that this funding might have helped with. However, it was given for a specific purpose and we must honor the agreement we made.”

During its Nov. 1, 2012, regular board meeting, the Board of Education adopted a resolution as required by statute accepting a reduction in appropriations from the commissioners in the amount of $1.65 million for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator and Rob Jackson, Community Relations and Communications Liaison
Posted: Nov 05, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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