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Clarke Schools Are Laying Off 33 People

The Clarke County School District plans to eliminate more than 33 positions at a called Board of Education meeting on Thursday.

The exact positions were not specified in the BOE’s meeting agenda, but they include:

• eight classified (non-teaching) positions in the Office of Early Learning.

• nine classified positions throughout the district.

• six certified (teaching) positions in the Office of Early Learning.

• 8.5 Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals certified positions, plus another certified position districtwide.

• a certified position at Athens Community Career Academy.

Most of the layoffs stem from the end of a grant for the Early Reading First program, which employees expected, CCSD spokeswoman Anisa Jimenez Sullivan said. Early Reading First works with Pre-K, Head Start and Little Ones Academy to improve three- and four-year-olds’ reading readiness.

Some of the layoffs are also the result of another tight budget year for the district. Superintendent Phil Lanoue had said he hoped to avoid any layoffs once teachers signed their contracts for the coming school year, but he might have to lay off up to 10 high school teachers.

Employees with unsatisfactory performance evaluations will be the first to lose their jobs, followed by those with the least seniority.

The called meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the central office board room at 240 Mitchell Bridge Road. 

Public hearings on the CCSD budget will be May 14 at Gaines Elementary School, May 16 at Alps Road Elementary School and May 21 at the central office, all starting at 6 p.m.