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Why LCS Superintendent Rocky Hanna says 70 position cuts were expected

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 17:41:13-04
  • Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna expected about 70 position cuts coming next school year.
  • The positions eliminated are mostly academic interventionists Hanna said "A lot of those positions will be absorbed internally.
  • Watch the video to hear from Hanna and see what's next for some affected employees.


"We've prepared for this day financially," Rocky Hanna, Leon County School Superintendent said.

That’s the message from Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna about 70 position cuts coming next school year.

"We are going to keep more than 50 percent of those positions that have been supported with federal money in the past," Hanna said. "And I'm really proud of the job we've done. The sky's not falling."

The positions eliminated are mostly academic interventionists.

"So a lot of those positions will be absorbed internally," Hanna said. "It may just mean they go back as a classroom teacher, but they still are employed, they just won't be an intervention pulling out and doing small groups and working one on one with children."

Hanna said the cuts are in part related to COVID-19 federal dollars expiring.

“We knew this day was coming, Hanna said. “No one expected our school district to just let the federal government turn on the money machine and send us an additional $100 million, but they did. That money's leaving now, and we're prepared for that we're prepared for this day.”

 I asked Superintendent Hanna if new pay raises for teachers impacted cuts in any way.

"Something has to give, you can't have all of all of everything," Hanna said. "And so yeah, the salary increases for teachers take its toll on additional staff in the schools. But at the end of the day, is that finding that balancing act, and that sweet spot with just a limited amount of money that's given to us by the legislature."

We first heard about these cuts from the Leon Classroom Teachers Association through documents they obtained—and shared with us after WTXL asked to review them.

 In a statement, LCTA president Scott Mazur told me,

"The budget deficit started with the LCS decision to use one-time funds for recurring positions and is worsened by vouchers and the state's insufficient funding of public schools. It's concerning that anyone at the district office would even suggest that the need to cut positions is a result of negotiations. There are funds within the budget that can accommodate the negotiated raises. It's all about choices. Now, they are facing the consequences of their decisions. We must focus on supporting what has the greatest impact on student learning, great teachers and staff."

When asked about the district's message to parents Hanna said:

"To our parents, we have more staffing resources in our schools next year than we did prior to the pandemic," Hanna said. "We are in a better picture financially."