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Arlington trustees OK cutting 24 administrative jobs

04/07/2011 11:31 PM

04/08/2011 10:21 AM

ARLINGTON -- School trustees on Thursday approved the elimination of 24 administrative positions, bringing total cuts to 538 jobs and $24.6 million.

Superintendent Jerry McCullough and the school board are confronting a projected $38 million shortfall caused by reduced state funding and the district's current budget deficit.

The job cutting has wiped out more than 6 percent of the district's workforce.

"I hope we've ended the personnel part of this," McCullough said. "I don't see any additional reductions between now and next year."

Administrators and trustees will keep looking for other ways to save while waiting for the Legislature to hammer out its budget and determine how much funding districts will lose. That won't come until June.

The jobs eliminated Thursday include executive director of student services and both assistant athletic directors, as well as two positions being vacated by retirement -- directors of library services and staff development.

The Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, said he believed that the job cuts disproportionately affected minorities.

"In one fell swoop, these names that I've known for many years have been cut from this district," McKissic said.

During a break in the meeting, McCullough and Marilyn Evans, assistant superintendent for personnel, defended the fairness of the cuts.

Evans said that 11 of the 24 administrative positions that were eliminated are held by blacks, but that about 30 percent of the district's administrators are black and 20 percent are Hispanic.

"I don't think we're unbalanced," said Evans, who is African-American. She said adding minorities to the administrative ranks "has been a big push since Mr. McCullough came on as superintendent."

Robert Cadwallader,

817-390-7641

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