District will privatize custodial services

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM.

The business of whittling the bottom line became tangible Monday for the Gulf County School Board.

During a special meeting, board members unanimously approved privatizing custodial services for at least the next school year, hoping to save $80,000-$100,000 as the district addresses a budget shortfall of nearly $900,000.

“That money is money that is keeping us from cutting into teacher ranks,” said Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton.

Norton has estimated that 12-15 teaching positions are likely to be trimmed.

And while tough just the start, the pain of removing employees, many of them long-term, from the district workforce was evident among board members.

“None of this is taken lightly,” said board member John Wright. “Anytime you have layoffs there is a real concern. We’ve looked at this for months and shed a tear or two.”

Board member Billy Quinn, Jr., said, “Some of these folks are our neighbors, people we see in the grocery store. We are going to be watching this process.”

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