Lawrence Public Schools announce an additional $500,000 in administrative cuts

Lawrence school district leaders have eliminated the equivalent of 11.5 full-time administrative support staff positions — through attrition and six layoffs — at district headquarters as part of $4.6 million in cuts for next school year.

Superintendent Rick Doll in a statement said the administrative cuts would save $548,526.

“The expectation that we have to do more with less starts here at the district office and expands to all of our schools,” Doll said. “Administrative cuts may not be as visible to parents as higher meal prices or as apparent to teachers as larger class sizes, but make no mistake, the elimination of these 11.5 positions means that all of those duties will be shared by staff members who already have full-time responsibilities.”

The cuts eliminate the positions of three administrative assistants, a grants and board services director, a technology services assistant director, an administrative secretary, a benefits clerk, an information technology support technician, a food services site manager, a grants and board services specialist, a half-time library media clerk, a half-time library media cataloguer and a half-time receptionist position.

Chief operations officer Frank Harwood said attrition accounted for five position cuts, and the Lawrence Schools Foundation will fund one administrative assistant position instead of the district’s general fund. That left six employees who were laid off to account for the remaining 5.5 position cuts.

“If you look at the things we’re taking on, like reconfiguration (in 2011-2012) of the middle schools and four-year high schools, actually we will have more to do with just fewer people to do it,” he said.

Harwood said the moves were the last of the position cuts as part of $4.6 million in savings due to a March plan the school board approved. The cuts included $3.2 million in staffing and educational program cuts, $1.1 million in staff reductions by increasing the student-teacher ratio by one student, and $350,000 by moving the East Heights Early Childhood Family Center into Kennedy School.

Through raising the ratio and cutting certain positions, the district didn’t offer contracts next year to more than 30 nontenured teachers.

District and school administrators will take pay cuts for next year through five furlough days. Classified staff members have one furlough day in 2010 as well.