Some Schools Will Be Left Out

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School Board president Fred Wile and the school system's Chief Fiscal Officer Suzanne Smith, say that physical problems with the city's schools range from leaky roofs to plumbing systems that don't work properly.

Most pressing issues, in the main, will be attended to, but some schools with problems will not be included.

"There are specifically, and they are not the only ones excluded, but Kate Griffin and Witherspoon are not in this list and believe me there's a lot of work that needs to be done at those schools due to their age. We don't think its prudent to spend this money for building that may become obsolete in the foreseeable future," said Fred Wile, Meridian School Board President.

Wile pointed out the mandated teacher pay raises do not apply to non-teaching personnel such as cafeteria workers, but drivers and maintenance workers. He said they would seek to give them that money would have to come from district funds. Smith said the extra money will be very hard to find.

"We're doing all that we can do to meet the state mandated teacher raises and were doing that not by raising taxes but by making internal cuts. We cut $1.9 million out of the budget this year and we started with Central Administration. We've made deep cuts to that office. In the history of some of the time that I came into this district more cuts have been made this year than in any other year and with any other administration."

Wile pointed out that starting this coming year, the Meridian Public School district, with over 1,000 employees will operate with only four managers, a deputy superintendent, a fiscal officer and a human resources manager.

"Find me another business with that many employees," Wile said that has only four executives to run it.