School personnel infoBrittney Raby – Staff Writer

For less than a million dollars, schools within Macon County could fulfill their school personnel “wish list” for the upcoming school year. With the intent of fulfilling the most crucial needs within the realms of the existing budget, without needing to ask for additional dollars from the county, the Macon County Board of Education finalized a prioritized list of personnel requests totaling $444,850.

“The personnel list was compiled at a principals budget work session,” explained Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “Principals and directors helped to put it together. It was based on student, school and program needs.”

The initial personnel list included requests from 10 of the district’s 11 schools, and the district’s bus garage and maintenance departments. Nantahala School did not submit any requests. With 27 new positions on the table, the district’s first personnel list totaled $852,450. After discussing reasoning and needs amongst themselves, principals and school leaders prioritized the list to include funding for 16 positions at $444,850.

“These positions will not require funding beyond our current local budget,” said Dr. Baldwin. “The funds will come from the resources that were set aside to cover the teacher assistant and drivers education budget reductions which were, in fact, funded in the state budget.”

The prioritized list includes positions ranging from a new mechanic in the  maintenance department, to additional teacher assistants at elementary schools, to a month’s salary to help with a transitional period during the summer session. “These requests are needed within our school system in order for us to provide the best educational opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Baldwin.