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St. Johns County Schools may bring back 70 non-teaching positions

7:18 AM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The St. Johns County School Board is considering re-instating 70 positions that it lost over the last few years due to budget cuts.

They are non-teaching positions, such as test coordinators and clerks.

Some high schools, such as Ponte Vedra, chose to allocate money to keep a testing coordinator, but principal Craig Speziale said, "By having that position there are other positions I don't have."  

Testing coordinators organize and plan all of the many standardized tests and exams schools now must administer.

The St. Johns County School district says it has now has the money to bring back 70 positions.

School Board member Bev Slough said, "It's coming out of money we were able to put aside in anticipation of the economy nearly collapsing, and it's money that will be generated because of property values are going up. It's also coming from the legislature pledging more money for education."

Slough said it will cost about $3 million.

In addition to paying for 70 positions, the money could bring back a seven-period school day at middle schools. Currently, middle schools have six periods.

"That's going to allow students to have another period in the day to have another elective," Slough explained, "and it will help teachers because they're teaching 6 of 6. Now they'll have a planning period."

Because Ponte Vedra High School already has a testing coordinator, Principal Speziale said the school could use the additional money to make up for what it did without.

"We've done without some other positions we really could use," he noted.

In the end, while the positions that could return are not teaching jobs, administrators say children will benefit because of the support the schools and teachers will receive.

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