The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 12, 2012

County school board adds five CNP workers

Kim West
For The News Courier

— After a brief discussion about staffing concerns, the Limestone County school board voted to approve the addition of five certified nutrition program workers at its monthly meeting Thursday night at the Clinton Street Annex.

The CNP workers will be at the high schools at Ardmore, Clements, East Limestone and Elkmont, and at Johnson Elementary.

District 7 Board Member Earl Glaze, asked Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk why the school system was addressing the need for more CNP workers, while an additional bookkeeper had been needed for his district since one was covering two schools. Glaze also mentioned the need for help in other areas throughout the system.

“For six or seven years, one bookkeeper has asked for help, and I understand there was a time when she was having to take work home with her just to get all the work done,” Glaze said, whose district includes Creekside Elementary School and East Limestone High School. “This work was being done without being paid,”

Sisk acknowledged the need for more help and explained that the budget hasn’t allowed the system to address all its needs, and that adding more workers is a recurring expense that must be addressed in the budget.

“I agree, we’re understaffed,” said Sisk. “But I don’t want to go out and hire a bunch of people and then be forced to lay off a bunch of people.

“You’re right, we need another bookkeeper and more CNP workers, custodians and teachers. The issue is, if you put them on the payroll, how do we sustain that?”

Sisk also explained that the tax revenue for the county school budget could be affected by James Clemens High School in an annexed portion of Limestone County.

James Clemens, which opened this fall, is part of the Madison City Schools System and cost approximately $54 million to build, according to Sisk.

“Our level of indebtedness is $40 million in Limestone County, and compare that to the (initial) cost to build that high school, and that cost could be as much as $70 million once they build the facilities for sports,” Sisk said. “And this could affect our budget because they’re going to try and claim some of our tax revenue since the school is in the county.”

In other business, the board elected Marty Adams and Bret McGill as delegates and Earl Glaze as an alternate to the Alabama Association of School Boards Conference on Dec. 6.

The school board will hold its next monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Clinton Street annex.