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BOE votes to add roaming school resource office
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After losing a school resource officer to budget cuts, the Newton County School Board agreed Tuesday to fund half of a "roaming" officer.

The school system and Newton County will split the cost of a resource officer who will roam from school to school on an as-needed basis. The deputy will cost the school system $20,429 for a three-year contract.
The board also voted to give Superintendent Gary Mathews the ability to move or transfer staff as needed during the first month of school.

Since it is unknown how many students each school and each individual class will have until school begins, it is often necessary to move staff.

The state BOE has waived regular education class size rules for the 2011-12 school year, however, the county elected to keep class sizes as follows: no more than 21 students in kindergarten; 25 in grades one through three; 30 in grades four through eight and 32 in high schools.

According to a memo given to the board, "If class size exceeds the maximums outlined above, teachers may need to be added. If more teachers are employed than needed at one school, then classes are collapsed and teachers are transferred. Further, paraprofessionals may need to be added or transferred as those positions are used in determining class sizes for kindergarten and special education."

Daily reviews of enrollment and class size will take place during the first month of school.
Also, because of school choice, there may be a need to add bus drivers.

"The FY 2012 budget contains $200,000 in contingency funds to offset any additions to personnel," reads the memo. "The costs for salaries and benefits of additional personnel needed per this memo will also be reported in the mid-term adjustment. We may receive additional funds from the state at mid-term to help offset the costs incurred due to increased student enrollment."