School district reduces staff in Picayune

By The Associated Press

HATTIESBURG – The Picayune School District has reduced its number of employees by 50, including two teaching positions.

School officials say that the figure includes 36 people who will lose their jobs and 14 vacant positions that won’t be filled.

Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell says the district originally had cut eight teachers but was able to recall six.

The American reported on Sunday that school officials have told board members that the district projects income of $32.15 million this year with expenditures of $35.1 million, with the difference being made up with funds on hand.

Officials say one reason for the staff reduction was that the district was losing about $2 million in federal stimulus money, which had been used to pay salaries.