The Harlan Independent Board of Education announced in a special called meeting on Tuesday its plan to cut six teaching positions for the next school year as it tries to make up a budget shortfall.
The reduction includes two elementary school teachers, one language arts middle/high school teacher, one social studies middle/high school teacher, one middle/high school math teacher and one alternative education instructor. The board also voted to partially fund the FRYSC secretary position to allow that individual to work part-time with school counselors. An hourly summer maintenance position was approved.
“This marks the end of my sixteenth year as superintendent and during that time the school board has made many sound financial decisions that has maintained the financial stability of the district while providing an education that is ranked among the state’s best for its children,” said Superintendent David Johnson. “During that time, the board has sometimes added and at other times reduced some programs as funds allowed and as needs were presented. In all those situations, the district has remained financially secure and has provided a high quality education program. We’re faced with a similar situation now, in which I have to make these recommendations that will maintain those two standards of financial and academic strength for the district. While we never want to make reductions, there’s times when it is necessary. I’m confident we’ll continue to provide the education quality that our students, families and community expect of us. We’re sound both financially and academically.”
Johnson said the board will continue to evaluate later as funding is determined and more funds become available to determine whether other actions will have to be taken. He said after June 30, the board will have a better understanding of where the district “stands financially.”
“At this point, based on the information we have now, I have to make these recommendations for reductions,” said Johnson.
After going into executive session per KRS 61.810 (1.f), the board voted to extend Johnson’s contract as superintendent through June 30, 2016, with a rollover provision.
“The board, in its wisdom, has decided Superintendent David Johnson has performed his job well above average and we’re more than happy with his performance,” said Chairman Joe Meadors.”We feel this district and community is lucky to have a person of David’s stature as superintendent.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org