Baldwin schools may cut teachers

Baldwin County Public Schools may cut as many as 100 positions before classes begin in August if state budget projections become reality, the system’s superintendent said Thursday.

The Baldwin school system will receive $13 million less from the state next year if the Legislature passes Gov. Bob Riley’s proposed education budget, said Superintendent Faron Hollinger.

To weather that financial hit, Hollinger has started working on a “contingency plan” that features a reduction of “local units” — teachers, nurses, assistant principals and other employees paid from local revenues instead of the state allocation — from the current 454 to as few as 350.

Teachers represent an overwhelming majority — 329 — of the local units, according to state Department of Education data, so the cuts will clearly involve teachers. Baldwin’s count of 454 locally funded employees ranks first statewide, Hollinger said.

The Alabama Education Association will “vehemently oppose” any teacher cuts, said local AEA representative John Hudson, even if the reductions involve only nontenured teachers.

Baldwin schools may cut teachers

But according to the County Revenue Commissioner:

The numbers are big, but Revenue Commissioner Phil Nix says the county will still collect millions more in property taxes than it did last year. He says the cuts should not hurt Baldwin County School System budgets. “We’ve about $115-million collected this year. We collected $116-million last year. Right now with the appeals outstanding, we have about $29-million being decided. Along with that, we have about $10-to-$12-million. Just people have not paid yet, so we have roughly $30-million to collect.”

He says the cuts should not hurt Baldwin County School System budgets.