Principals weigh in on state’s recent proration

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, December 17, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
It’s what might have been that has local education administrators concerned about this week’s proration declaration from Gov. Riley.
Riley’s announcement does not come as a surprise to many educators, they were warned earlier in the year it would happen, but it still does not ease their concerns over what comes next.
Principal David Nolin of A.C. Moore Elementary School said there is still much uncertainty about what exactly will have to be cut.
Susan McKenzie, principal of Rachel Patterson Elementary School, was not surprised at the proration, but was at the amount.
Zickeyous Byrd, Escambia County Middle School principal, said he has been anticipating the cuts for some time and agrees it is what could have been done for the children that is the most troubling.
Smaller class sizes are one thing that might be hurt by the proration because of a lack of funds to hire more teachers. If there were an increase in the number of students, something Atmore will likely be seeing with an increased workforce due to the casino, then class sizes would increase instead of hiring another teacher.
Byrd said at this time he did not see a need for additional faculty members, but if one left it is uncertain if the position could be filled.
In light of the proration, the administrators remain confident about the quality level of education they will continue to be able to provide.
Nolin agreed that educating children will continue as usual, but expressed a desire to see a change in education funding.
McKenzie also acknowledged the help the rainy day fund will provide in these pressed financial times.
She added that she thinks Escambia County schools are more equipped to handle the proration than other systems.

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