Rockdale teachers may find themselves being moved between schools to alleviate student-teacher ratios in some areas, school official reported during the Aug. 13 Board of Education work session.
"Overall we’re in pretty good shape, but we’ve got some hot spots," said Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis.
The 9-day enrollment count showed the highest ratios in elementary schools among the fourth and fifth grades of Lorraine, Peek’s Chapel, Pine Street, Shoal Creek. For middle schools, high ratios were found in the eighth grade at Conyers, seventh grade at Edwards and Memorial, and the sixth grade at Edwards. Among the high schools, Heritage had the highest ratio.
"Traditionally, the school system had moved teachers within schools but had not had to move them between schools," said Lee. Moving teachers between schools is not "the optimal situation, but in these financial times, that’s the best situation," he said. With a 3 percent budget cut ordered by the state just before the start of the school year, hiring more teachers to alleviate the ratio does not seem like a possibility.
Davis advised that it would be better to make any moves earlier than later, to minimize attachment issues and disruptions.
There will be also some opportunity to lower ratios by using Title 1 dollars – funding provided for schools with lower income students – on teachers and personnel, said Davis. All the elementary schools except Lorraine are Title 1 schools.