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Manassas Superintendent Addresses Rumored School Division Job Cuts

School division staff said some residents believe the superintendent is recommending the elimination of some 111 jobs in Manassas City Public Schools.

Manassas City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Catherine Magouyrk said she is not recommending the eliminations of several teaching and instructional assistant positions within the division in the next fiscal year. 

Magouyrk and school district staff are currently working on her proposed school division budget for Fiscal Year 2014 which begins in July and ends in June 2014 and encompasses the 2013-2014 school year.

Once completed, the superintendent's budget will be presented to the Manassas School Board on Feb. 26.

During the budget preparation process, staff said there have been "misunderstandings and inaccuracies" in the community, especially regarding potential cuts in Manassas schools personnel.

Magouyrk said she is concerned about a rumor in Manassas that school officials  are now discussing eliminating some 111 teaching and instructional assistant jobs.

Contrary to how the numbers look, the superintendent has said she is not making a recommendation of cuts at this point, but is examining these positions in an attempt to be fiscally responsible.  

“I’m very concerned about the misinformation in the community about the school’s budgeting process,” Magouyrk said.

Manassas is a small city and the misinformation appears to have taken on a life of its own, she said.

after the departure of former superintendent Gail Pope, said she was asked by the school board, residents and the Manassas City Council to find out why Manassas was spending more money per student than the neighboring jurisdictions of Manassas Park and Prince William County.

Data shows Manassas spends about $1,000 more per child than the county or the city of Manassas Park, adding up to about $7 million more in expenditures for the division.

The superintendent worked with school principals and recommended a review of their staffing allotments and a zero-based budget process to determine how to best utilize their resources to achieve the division’s mission and goals for next year, said Almeta Radford, spokeswoman for Manassas City Public Schools.

School principals helped to identify 111 positions that were above what the state was funding and began the process of linking the positions to specific instructional needs, Radford said. 

The school board will convene on Tuesday for a work session in the school board offices on Tudor Lane. Click here to view the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

Once the superintendent's proposed budget is presented in late February, the school board will spend a month reviewing the budget. After the review, that body will decide to approve the budget.

That approved budget, in turn, will go before Manassas City Council for its approval later in the spring.

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Debby Storey February 08, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Thanks for clarifying. I was dubious..too many cuts too fast.. yes we are a smallt town..info travels fast...for the good or bad...but it does.. However, the fact that we spend a bit more on students speaks to the generiosity of Manassas citizen and the repsect they have for education..all education,, not just AP or sports but arts and electives and a chance to explore who one it....many opportunities for extra-curricular contribute to the education of students way beyond the years in school. This is one of the main reason I chose to remain in the city of Manassas..MY children got a top rate education.
sam February 08, 2013 at 05:02 PM
This is simply not true. If you go to the MCPS web site, you can view the documents that state her "draft" to eliminate these positions.
Robyn Williams February 08, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Sam, where on the website? I have looked and cannot find it?
Virginia Dwyer February 08, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Check out the Agenda for the school board meeting from Jan 12, 2013. The handout is titled "staffing handout". http://manassas.k12.va.us/sb/meetings/2012-2013/011213/Instructional%20Staff%20Allocations%20with%20revised%20note.pdf
Robyn Williams February 08, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Wonderful, thank you!!
Linda February 28, 2013 at 02:42 AM
They are also proposing cutting 20% from the transportation department's budget which will mean switching from a 3 bell schedule to a 4 bell schedule. Some of you may remember when we tried that before and it was an abysmal failure. Buses did double runs from the elementary schools and kids weren't getting home until app. 5pm. Also the buses were even more crowded than they are now. The superintendent wants every department to cut 20%.
Tim Oshiki March 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I think you still misunderstand: The term "Preliminary" means only those positions mandated/funded by the state. School administrators were tasked with evaluating positions above those funded, and decide, at the school level, if they were essential positions. The actual proposed budget calls for elimination of 12.9 school-based positions (and if I'm reading the budget correctly, only 8 of them are instructional positions). It also calls for eliminating 14.25 positions from central office. Perhaps the words of the Dalai Lama apply - "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

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