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Teacher allotments approved

CONYERS - The Rockdale County Board of Education approved at its last meeting 782 certified teacher allotments as the minimum number of positions needed for the 2008-09 school year. The move is one of the first steps for the school system's 2009 budget development.

The teaching positions approved included 370 elementary school positions, 145 middle school positions and 267 high school positions at the school system's 21 educational facilities, which include the Rockdale Career Academy, the Magnet School for Science and Technology, the alternative school, Alpha Academy and Open Campus. The Open Campus is scheduled to open in time for the 2008-09 school year.

"This is an increase of 23 regular education teachers for the next school year," Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Samuel King said when he recommended the positions to the school board. "The approval of a minimum number of certified staff positions is crucial in order to allow principals an adequate window for interviewing and securing quality personnel for the upcoming school year."

According to his recommendation, the increase is needed to handle the projected growth of 300 students next year, including the anticipation of more students attending Rockdale Career Academy.

The allotments were first presented to the board during its work session earlier this month. A public hearing was held prior to the BOE meeting Thursday. No member of the public commented during the hearing.

The budget process began Jan. 11, when budget suggestion forms were posted on the RCPS Web site and distributed to schools and community members for feedback.

The budget committee will prepare the system's budget during February, March and April.

In March, analysis of the budget submission forms will be presented to the board, and in April, the final staffing and proposed salary schedules will be presented.

The Board of Education will get a first look at the proposed 2008-09 budget in May and should approve the final budget in June.

Several public hearings will be held over the next several months to allow for public comment on the proposed budget.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.