Two months after informing 68 teachers their contracts would not be renewed, Columbus Municipal School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell announced Friday that 49 vacancies will be filled, with impacted teachers having first priority to reapply for their jobs.
During the March reduction in force, Liddell said she expected to be able to rehire 21 teachers after state and federal funding was finalized for next school year, but she wanted to tell the staff quickly so they would be able to find alternative employment.
Liddell said each school’s staffing needs will be determined by enrollment.
Friday’s announcement came on the heels of the finalization of the state budget, which Gov. Phil Bryant approved earlier in the day. While the district did not receive as much as needed, it did receive funding at the same level as last year, Liddell said, but the district will still be short $2.37 million in needed funds due to increases in retirement costs and other reasons.
Overall, the state provided $19.4 million more for schools next year than this year, but much of that was offset by a $23 million increase in retirement costs, leaving the schools with a $3.6 million shortfall.