The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

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July 2, 2009

Federal stimulus funds allow ACS to fill 44 open positions

ANDERSON — Many of the three-dozen laid-off Anderson teachers could be back in school this fall, as the schools fill a nearly equal number of positions created by federal stimulus money.

“Very few so far have been called back, but most of them will be called back,” Anderson Community Schools Personnel Director Beth Clark said Thursday. ACS has posted 44 open positions, including 33 created by the system’s receipt of more than $5 million in federal stimulus funding.

That stimulus funding will run out in two years, and at least 10 of the positions created with those funds are guaranteed for just one year.

At the start of the school year, the number of certified staff at ACS will be close to last year’s level of about 800.

“That gives a false perception of where we really are,” said ACS Business Manager Kevin Brown. “The stimulus dollars do not affect our shortfall. ... When the stimulus dollars go away, the positions go away.”

The positions created through stimulus money include many that offer coaching and counseling to students as well as some positions that help teachers interpret data on how students are doing. The stimulus funds allow hiring:

u Teachers for expanded full-day, every day kindergarten at Anderson, Erskine, 10th Street, 29th Street, Forest Hills and Edgewood elementaries.

u Additional reading specialists at Anderson and Erskine elementaries.

u Peer-assist review teachers, literacy data coaches, and others who will help boost literacy proficiency in early elementary grades.

u Counselors and positive behavior support coaches who will assist special education students.

Teachers laid off in the school system have recall rights for three years and are at the front of the line for openings that match their teaching certification.

Separate from stimulus funding, most of the other positions are at Anderson and 29th Street elementaries. There are 12 positions at Anderson and six at 29th Street. Those schools will receive the lion’s share of students resulting from the closure of Robinson and Southview elementaries at the end of this past school year.

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com

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