$3.4 million in Alabama Jeffco schools checks lost

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) 2000 Alabama Live, LLC All rights reserved.

$3.4 million in Jeffco schools checks lost by payroll officer on way to bank 04/21/2000 JOHN ARCHIBALD and CHARLES J. DEAN News staff writers

A Jefferson County schools payroll officer left the system's offices Wednesday on a routine assignment to deposit three checks in the bank.

He made it to the bank. The checks - totaling $3.4 million - did not.

They were lost along the way, state Superintendent Ed Richardson told Jefferson County Board of Education members Thursday. He called the loss an embarrassment and another disillusioning example of careless financial practices in a system plagued by debt, misplaced money and shoddy recordkeeping.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 21, 2000


April 28, 2000

) 2000 Alabama Live, LLC All rights reserved.

Jeffco school board fires 225 workers; more cuts ahead 04/28/2000 By CHARLES J. DEAN News staff writer

Pink slips go out this morning to 225 Jefferson County teachers, counselors, administrators and other employees.

The county Board of Education voted Thursday night to fire the employees in the first round of budget cuts that are meant to save the money-troubled system $22 million over the next school year.

In addition to the 225 employees, the board accepted the resignations and retirements of another 58 employees. Almost none of those employees will be replaced.

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Five jobs that did not open up Thursday were those of the school board members, who rejected the demand of a teacher union leader that they step aside. Vi Parramore, president of the Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers, accused the board of neglect and mismanagement of Alabama's second largest system. She accused them of presiding over a system that has kept public business private, rubber stamped wrong headed administrator decisions and ill served teachers, students and citizens.

"We have lost confidence in the Jefferson County Board of Education and we request you resign," Mrs. Parramore told the board to the cheers of about 40 AFT members.

One who cheered was Lisa Nelson, a first-grade teacher at Warrior Elementary School who is completing her first and perhaps last year as a county teacher. The 31-year-old Ms. Nelson gave up her tenured position in the Mobile County system last year to come to Jefferson County. She came to Thursday's board meeting hoping to find out her fate.

"I'm hoping and praying for the best," said Ms. Nelson. "I think I'm like a lot of teachers and others, we just want to know, one way or the other."

Ms. Nelson will find out this morning when system administrators hand deliver termination notices to schools and the system's Central Office.

A second round of cuts could come May 11, said system administrators. How many employees will lose their jobs then will depend on the number of employees who announced their intentions to resign or retire at the end of the school year in May.

In all, the system must cut 381 jobs to save the expected $22 million this year.

State school Superintendent Ed Richardson ordered Jefferson County administrators not to disclose the names of the fired workers until those notices had been delivered today.

All the teachers, counselors and other certified employees whose jobs are being cut are non tenured.

Only board member Kevin Walsh voiced any criticism of the cuts approved Thursday. Walsh said he was concerned that many teacher cuts were made not because the teachers are unskilled but because some principals are ridding themselves of employees they do not like


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 28, 2000.

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