Andalusia schools lose 13 teachers

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 12, 2003

Due to budget constraints affecting school systems not only in Alabama, but all over the nation, many superintendents and school boards have been placed in the unenviable position of having to cut programs or personnel.

The Andalusia City Board of Education is no different.

During the regular meeting of the Andalusia board Monday night, the board approved the non-renewal of 13 teachers or support personnel.

The cuts included six persons from Andalusia High School, three from Andalusia Middle School and three from Andalusia Elementary School, as well as one person from the maintenance department.

The non-renewals were part of a busy personnel portion of the meeting, one that included three resignations and two transfers.

Superintendent Pete Kelley called the non-renewals a hard thing to do and an unpleasant chore.

The cuts came during a meeting dominated by the subject of the financial woes, with Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson also on hand during a portion of the meeting to discuss the financial issues with the members of the board.

Kelley said he definitely feels for the teachers, their families and the students that will be affected by the non-renewals.

"Our kids and our grandkids deserve (better)," said Kelley, who noted that no decisions have been made regarding possible cuts involving programs and said he hoped that at some point that some of those receiving non-renewals may at some point in the future be re-hired. "When we cut out something that means (the students) are going to miss that opportunity."

Johnson, during his remarks, said he feels empathy for Kelley and the board, and added the situation will likely not improve until it is realized "that the system is broke."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Complete details of the meeting will be in the Wednesday edition of the Star-News.