MPS Chief Fiscal Officer on Cuts

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Meridian Public Schools district officials say they are confident they won't have to make more budget cuts any time soon, after Monday's announcement of job cuts.

The district cut 18 positions for non-certified employees. Those cuts will include some of the custodial staff and some teacher assistants.

"Everyone was touched by it. There are none that will go untouched. In other words, everyone will give up something," said MPS chief fiscal officer Linda Hill. "There are people who will lose their jobs, but that will be a minimal number because there could have been many more."

Hill says these cuts will provide for a balanced budget.

"We are told it will be worse next year," said Hill. "And what I'm looking for is for this year to end with a good fund balance, so that maybe we have some cushion there so we can absorb the cuts for next year. "

Along with these cuts, last month, the district eliminated three administrative positions and approved two mandatory furlough days for all district employees.

For some parents, the idea of fewer adults in the classroom raises concerns of the quality of education the district can provide the children.

"I think it will interfere with the kids' education, although I know that it's sometimes a necessity," said parent Jackie Rupert. "But I don't think education should be cut."

And this is something district officials would more than likely agree with, but Hill says officials are just trying to make the best out of what they are being given from the state.

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  • by RC Location: Meridian on May 27, 2010 at 03:14 PM
    As for why I chose college over K12, my father who spent 40 in the K12 system suggested against it because it is and has become such an abysmal failure. And, upon working within his district during the later part of a school year, the resulting experience only confirmed his prognostication.
  • by To RC on May 27, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    I would agree with you that cc's are underfunded. You cannot compare k12 with cc's because each has a different mission. Students, by law, must attend k12. Just out of curiousity, why did you choose to teach college as opposed to K12?
  • by RC Location: Meridian on May 27, 2010 at 07:46 AM
    New solution! To stop the pay and benefits cuts lets institute a mandatory 10% city/county tax on every item bought or sold in the city/county. That way everyone pays their fair share towards education, the district will be flush with cash, and we can toss more money down the rabbit hole without fixing anything and no one gets their feelings hurt because they have to take a little pay cut! Yeah, problem solved!
  • by RC Location: Meridian on May 27, 2010 at 07:45 AM
    Another thing. If college and university faculty can deal with pay cuts and funding reductions, why shouldn't ALL government educational institutions? And why is it that K12 gets more funding than the local community college per student (by about $1500)? It costs more to run a CC (even with the income from tuition) than a high school. MPSD gets over $4000 from the state per student (just a little less than a major university) and you still can't make ends meet?
  • by Just another teacher Location: Mississippi on May 27, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    I can tell you from expreience, college students have are MUCH easier to teach than secondary students. They have a choice as to whether they want to be there or not. I do both and if my day job was as easy as my night job, I would enjoy it so much more and not be as frustrated by all the mess that comes wiht it.
  • by RC Location: Meridian on May 27, 2010 at 07:36 AM
    Danny: College faculty have had to take pay cuts, there has been downsizing, class sizes have been increased, raise freezes instituted, and tuition increases were a last resort. After 25 years of education and 2 graduate degrees, I feel that I should be paid a bit more than high school teachers. A problem with pay is that you have MCC starting faculty (who have masters degrees) start out at less than a high school teacher. They can't teach high school classes because they don't have classes in teaching using arts and crafts. Open high school classes up to these people and there would be no teacher shortage. Even with a pay cut they would get a raise from what they make now. You make another mistake in your assumption that college professors aren't always preparing. My field changes by the day. I update my lectures the day before I give them. Also, as far as bringing work home, I have two offices; the university and home. Work never ceases for me.
  • by Anonymous on May 26, 2010 at 09:59 PM
    Guy south of I-20 I seen your comments a few times on tv, can i have your autogragh?
  • by Anonymous on May 26, 2010 at 09:55 PM
    Well well well.....I need a job, wanted to get a job as a teacher aide, they told me I need to pass the "work keys" first, took the work keys test-scored high enough and what do you know. Still need a job because the ________ TEACHER AIDE program has been CUT......Work keys has now become obsolete.....Good ol' Mississippi!!!
  • by Danny Location: Meridian on May 26, 2010 at 05:29 PM
    RC: Since you are a teacher in college, are you willing to take a pay cut along with rest of your rest of your college buddies? Probably not. All I ever here from college professors is that they need more money. I guess that is why the Universities have to keep raising tuition cost every year. How dare that they cut staff. College students are different than grade school. By the time they get to college, most of them have matured a great deal. Yes, Academia is easier that the military, and I thank you for your service. Most teachers that I know bring work home everynight of the week and on weekends. They grade there own papers and such as you do. They may only work for nine months as you say, but I know for a fact that a true teacher never ever stops trying to prepare and learn so that they can pass that knowledge on to their students.
  • by RC Location: Meridian on May 26, 2010 at 02:36 PM
    Teacher: my work load doesn't wear me out because it is easier than the workload I had in the military. And, to clue you in, I advise students, sit on committees, develop curriculum, design or revise courses, write grants, serve as the faculty sponsor for student organizations, do community service work, maintain office hours, and teach a 14 to 18 semester hour course load while conducting research with undergraduate and graduate students and I still grade my own papers and write my own lectures and laboratory manuals. As for the 100 person lectures, I was speaking of the courses in general not what I teach. My courses are a little more specialized and I still have more than 50 students to manage in each. And for everyone else, I get the point no union. Good, then that will make it easy to cut everyone's salary across the board. Now you can work during the summer like the rest of us have to.
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