The district will reduce the number of days in teacher contracts by two from 191 to 189. Superintendent Randy Shaver said the change will save the district about $290,000.
Mississippi requires teachers to be on contracts for 187 days – 180 days of classroom instruction plus in-service and staff development days.
The Tupelo Public School District had added four days to its contracts as a local supplement in order to attract higher-caliber candidates.
As part of that supplement, teachers had to turn in 60 hours of outside professional development activities they attended.
Teachers will not have that requirement next year, Shaver said, but they will have to attend two days of professional development within the district.
The district will send letters to teachers on April 5 informing them of the change. The letters will say that the current 191-day contract will not be renewed.
However, when teachers sign the letter, their contract will be recommended for renewal under the new terms. Teachers who don’t agree can also request a hearing.
The non-renewal letter, which will go to all licensed staff in the district, does not mean everyone has been terminated.
“That would be pretty ridiculous because you have to have teachers,” Shaver said. “No one is thrilled about losing two days of pay, but it is better than losing jobs, and they understand that.”
The letter will also explain that the district will pay only the $6,000 supplement to National Board Certified Teachers if it gets that funding from the state.
That supplement will cost the district over $700,000 for its 121 board certified teachers.
Normally the state pays that supplement, but it is unknown whether the state will fund it next year.
Under current projections, Tupelo’s state funding for the 2010-11 school year could be $4.6 million to $6 million less than it was this year, Shaver said. That would represent a reduction of roughly 15 percent.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or email@example.com.