Russell schools to lose money for teachers

The Russell County School System can expect to lose state funding for about 12 teacher positions next year, superintendent Yvette Richardson told the school board Tuesday night.

The loss in funding is due to a drop in average daily enrollment numbers.

Enrollment in the district has fallen by about 200 students for the past two years, while other districts in the area, such as Phenix City and Lee County, have gained students.

"We lost 12 positions and I can tell you which district gained 12," Richardson told the board.

Richardson said it is too early to tell which schools the cuts will come from. The system will get the final number of positions to be eliminated from the state superintendent in May.

The loss of funds does not necessarily mean that teachers will be let go, she said. Administrators and principals are still getting letters of retirement and resignation this year and some of those positions would just go unfilled.

Board member Keith Mitchell said the drop in enrollment is not due to students moving away from county schools, but from the lack of new housing being built in the area. He said many of the houses are owned by older families, without kids in the system.

"The housing didn't turn over," he said.

Richardson said she has started a teacher advisory group to see what can be done to bring more students to the county schools.