Michael D. Clark reports:
Continuing a trend of recent years Mason school officials Tuesday announced another round of job cuts totaling about $1.6 million for next school year.
The Mason school board unanimously approved the elimination of 39.5 positions next school year, including 17 teaching jobs with some job losses brought on by a consolidation of schools.
The latest round of budget reductions in Mason schools, which has an annual operating budget of $100 million, brings to $6 million in reductions since the 2010-2011 school year.
These cuts now total 108 school jobs eliminated in the last two school years.
Mason Schools Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline said it was with “great sadness” that she proposed the latest down-sizing.
The cuts in the last two school years have been largely among non-teaching personnel. Teaching jobs have been reduced by 37 positions or 5 percent of all cuts – the lowest percentage of reductions among the various types of school jobs eliminated, she said.
“By making the tough decisions now,” Kist-Kline told the board “we have tried to protect those that are closest to our students.”
The consolidation of Mason Heights Elementary into Western Row Elementary and Mason Early Education Center next school year will also save $700,000 during the 2012-2013 school year, said officials.
And, said Kist-Kline, the $6 million in total reductions during the last two school years has helped to keep Mason from asking residents for any new school tax hike for the rest of 2012.
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