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Schools contract with Ombudsman, go to seven-period day
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The Newton County Board of Education voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to contract with Ombudsman to provide the county's alternative education. The decision will save the system approximately $1.9 million but will also eliminate Sharp Learning Center. Board member Shakila Henderson-Baker abstained.


The board approved unanimously to change high school scheduling to a seven-period day, saving roughly $2.8 million but eliminating 47 teaching positions.


Additionally, the board voted unanimously to reorganize and reduce maintenance and custodial staff (savings of $954,000); eliminate two assistant principal positions – one at Alcovy High School and one at Newton High School (savings of $215,000); reduce school resource officers from 18 to 14, as well as the additional reduction of the Sharp resource officer (with a savings of $214,285); cut the central office budgets 10 percent (savings of $160,000); and combine the positions of the Newton College and Career Academy CEO and Director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (savings of $65,000).


The board also voted 4-1 to reduce the 1 percent board contribution to the 403b retirement plan for Teachers Retirement System employees to .5 percent (savings of $422,000) with Henderson-Baker opposed.