At the Birmingham School Board meeting tonight, a plan will be presented which, if implemented, will close and consolidate schools and result in a reduction of the school system’s workforce by more than 100 positions. The plan aims at saving the schools more than $8 million.
According to Michaelle Chapman, spokeswoman for the Birmingham City Schools, the following are the provisions of the financial recovery plan being presented today:
· Carver and Woodlawn high schools would add seventh and eighth grades in a school-with-a-school model. Students in the seventh and eighth grades would be in separate areas of the schools with separate staffs and administrations.
· Center Street Middle School would close, with students moving to Arrington Middle School and Carver.
· Councill Elementary School would consolidate with Bush Middle School to create a K-8 school.
· Daniel Payne Middle School would close, with sixth-graders moving to South Hampton Elementary School and seventh- and eighth-graders going to Carver.
· Hemphill Elementary School would close, with students moving to Jackson Elementary School and West End Academy.
· Norwood Elementary School would close, and students would attend Phillips Academy.
· Putnam Middle School would close, and students would move to Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School and Woodlawn.
· North Roebuck Elementary School would close and relocate to the Martha Gaskins Middle School building. Martha Gaskins students would go to Smith and Ossie Ware Mitchell middle schools.
· Avondale Elementary School, Barrett Elementary School, Hayes K-8 School, Hudson K-8 School, Inglenook K-8 School, Oliver Elementary School and South Hampton Elementary School would become K-6 schools.
· The new Oxmoor K-8 School would open this summer as a K-5 school.
· Kennedy Alternative School would be closed and the program would be moved to the Daniel Payne Middle School building.
Chapman said that the proposed plan would also include the loss of 108 jobs in schools: 15 teachers, seven principals, 15 assistant principals, 10 teaching assistants, seven counselors, seven library media personnel, 17 clerical workers, 15 Child Nutrition Program workers, two bookkeepers, and 13 custodians.
Additionally, in the city schools central office, four program specialists, three clerical workers, one bookkeeper, five custodians, three data entry technicians, one director or assistant director, and eight maintenance workers would be let go, Chapman indicated.
In total the proposal would save the system $8,018,786.21, Chapman said in a press release issued shortly before the 5:30 p.m. meeting.
In the press release, Chapman indicated that the full presentation and supporting material would be available online for viewing at www.bhamcityschools.org. Members of the public can learn more about the changes at community meetings scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, at Carver High School and at the same time March 5 at Huffman High School.