Schools Adjusting to Shifting Enrollments
Maraghy, Mary, The Florida Times Union
Mandarin Oaks Elementary School no longer has a computer
The position was eliminated Sept. 13 when the school received
its final budget for the 1996-1997 school year.
Eliminating staff is a new reality at some Mandarin schools.
Steady increases in student population in past years forced
schools to hire more teachers and adopt year-round schedules and
But because enrollment at most Mandarin schools fell below
projections, those schools ended up with less state funding.
Schools get about $2,200 a year per student from the state.
In most cases, a declining budget means cutting staff, said
Bill Jackson, Duval County public schools budget director.
Schools begin the year with a working budget based on projected
enrollment figures. Final budgets were determined Sept. 11 based
on the school's Sept. 4 enrollment.
"It's always a stressful time for schools, wondering and
worrying about where people will go. It's pretty emotional,"
Here's a look at budget adjustments principals made in Mandarin
Mandarin High School: The school lost 240 students because of
an attendance boundary change made in April.
Personnel cuts were unavoidable but made simple because several
teachers resigned this summer, Principal Dalton Epting said.
Epting didn't fill the positions.
The school lost one teacher each for computers, social studies,
science, English and physical education.
Four of the five teachers had resigned or transferred to other
schools, Epting said.
"If you plan properly, you just don't fill positions when
teachers leave. It worked out perfectly," Epting said. "I was
really worried it would be worse."
Mandarin Middle School: Principal Walter Carr said four
teaching positions and a clerk's position were cut through
attrition. The school lost 73 students.
He also cut the school's supply budget, which provides teaching
materials, custodial equipment, cleaning supplies and paper.
"We'll still be tight but everyone will remain employed here.
We may run out of supplies by the end of the year, but I really
think we'll be OK," he said.
Mandarin Oaks Elementary School: Though Principal Jo Doty said
overcrowding has eased with the loss of 80 students, she's not
happy about losing funding. …