Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Unsuspecting Duval School Administrators Shocked By Salary Cuts

Cyd Hoskinson

Dozens of Duval County school administrators were shocked recently to find that their salaries had been reduced by as much as $24,000 per position.

The reduced salaries were a result of the decision by Duval County Public Schools to remove a special provision approved in 2010 that resulted in some school principals and assistant principals making substantially more than others in similar positions across the district.

At last night’s school board meeting, board member Paula Wright expressed her concern for the employees who were surprised by the cuts, and asked what could be done to help them.

“Can we consider looking at how we can restore these people’s salaries to a certain time, I don’t know if that’s 30 days, 90 days, so that they have some time to adjust as opposed to getting their salaries reduced without any warning?” she asked.

School Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti admitted he could have done a better job making sure the affected employees were aware of the impending cuts. He promised to look into Wright’s suggestions.

Schultz Center Contract Changes

The Duval County School Board also approved a new contract with the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership that differs substantially from previous agreements.

One key difference is a dramatic reduction in the center’s responsibilities for  professional development training of Duval County teachers.

Schultz Center President and CEO Deborah Gianoulis says this means the center will be able to provide more services to other districts around Northeast Florida.

“We are going to have much more opportunity now to have that regional and statewide focus," she said. "We had such a Duval-centric contract, that it was hard for us to serve anyone else.”

The amount of money the district will pay the Schultz Center has been cut from around $2 million last year to slightly less than $500,000 this year.

I'm A S.T.A.R. Presents Proceeds To Help Homeless Students

Homeless students will have an easier time thanks to the efforts of the I’m A S.T.A.R. Foundation.

The organization has held a number of recent events, including a 5K walk-run and a celebrity basketball game, to raise money for the nearly 2,000 homeless students who attend Duval County schools.

I’m A S.T.A.R. founder Betty Burney handed over the proceeds, totaling $35,500, at last night’s meeting.

$15,500 will be used for scholarships to homeless students who graduate in 2014, and $20,000 will go to the district's homeless education department to purchase items for homeless students.

The leadership training program fosters academic success in part by getting students involved with issues affecting their communities. According to Burney, S.T.A.R. stands for, "smart, talented and resilient."

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.