Pinellas cuts 100 to 115 ESE classroom aides
Superintendent Mike Grego announced in late April that he was changing staffing levels in special education because Pinellas County Schools spends far more, on average, than other schools districts.
To cut those costs, Grego consolidated the special education centers - repurposing Hamilton Disston - and combined the school-based VE liaison and the district-based CED job. He said the district was staffing some classrooms to the most intensive teacher to student ratios and grouping students by disability rather than severity level.
The result of all these changes is that people's jobs have been cut for the 2013/14 school year.
District officials confirmed Friday that 100 to 115 classroom aide positions have been cut. With the combo job - now called teacher on special assignment - varying exceptionalities specialist - there are 15 fewer jobs for the VEs and CEDs to apply for. (There are about 51 VEs and CEDs and only 36 combined positions.) The district has been advertising the combined job online. It's not clear how many of the displaced employees could find jobs elsewhere in the district.
The district spends from 8 percent to more than 38 percent more for its special education services. That adds up to the district spending about $64 million more than it takes in for special education services. All of these changes - Hamilton Disston and positions - will save about $6.5 million.