Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Superintendent Proposes 10 Jobs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Superintendent Proposes 10 Jobs

Article excerpt

Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY

For months, Superintendent David Owens warned the Clay County School Board that the school district's support system was stretched far too thin.

The district's enrollment, number of students and number of teachers has rapidly grown over the past several years, but its staff -- including school custodians, technicians and administrative assistants -- shrunk because of funding constraints.

With improved state educational funding this year, and even board members suggesting he add positions, Owens this week heeded his own warnings after conducting a districtwide review of staffing needs.

On Tuesday, he recommended 10 new positions, costing about $203,000 for the remainder of the 2005-06 school year, including benefits. The full-year cost is about $513,000.

The jobs are an additional custodian each for Middleburg High and Thunderbolt Elementary; a project manager, operations coordinator, heating and air conditioning technician and transportation technology specialist for the support services division; an administrative assistant for the instructional division; two personnel assistants for the human resources division; and an accounting assistant for the business affairs division.

Existing staffers are overworked and exhausted, he said.

"If you saw them until dark every day and on weekends, you'd understand why I'm asking for relief," Owens said. "I know what I'm doing. I know what people are doing in the district office . . . In bad financial years, we really stripped the staff and we haven't added back until now.

"We're not just having to build classrooms. We have an increased workload everywhere," he said.

The board quickly approved the request on a 4-1 vote, with Wayne Bolla dissenting.

"It has been a long, long time. We haven't done anything of this magnitude in years and years. …

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