School officials consider solar energy plan

February 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

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The district anticipates that $22.59 million of the Personnel Department’s more than $73 million budget will be needed to pay for healthcare, up from $21.23 million spent on healthcare in the current school year.

Exact healthcare costs will not be calculated until later in the year, when discussions with a healthcare broker are complete, Richardson said.

The personnel budget represents about 80 percent of the entire school budget, Genco said. The district employees 1,370 people, including teachers, administrators, custodians and support staff. The department’s 2011-2012 budget was not immediately available for comparison.

“The most important thing we do in the district is hire good people,” Genco said.

Exact figures within the Personnel Department budget may change, as negotiations with four employee unions are currently underway, he said.

In his budget presentation, Genco called for the hire of an additional transportation mechanic as well as two teachers for an proposed alternative school program that would target students at risk of not graduating.

The program – which would run from 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on school days – would help at risk students and improve the school’s graduation rate, according to Genco.

A similar program was dismantled two years ago after the state funding that supported it disappeared, but the students’ needs remain, he said.

“It was a very successful program,” said Gialanella. “It was a great second chance for students.”

The previous program was open to students from neighboring areas, but the proposed program would be smaller in scale and focus on Jackson students, according to officials.

“Not everybody can be successful in a traditional high school,” said Gialanella. “We have a need for alternative high school.”

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