$1.6 million saved by restructuring of Jeff Davis schools

The Jefferson Davis County School District

has cut 47 jobs and saved $1.6 million so far in a restructuring

program begun this spring, officials have told the state Board of

Education.

The system has 2,100 students at five schools.

Bob Strebeck, the system's conservator appointed by the Board of

Education, said Friday that eliminated positions included teachers,

assistant teachers, maintenance staff, bus staff and others.

Strebeck said no more staffing cuts will be made for the 2007-08

school year.

Jefferson Davis schools has been coping with financial woes

since a state investigation found the district had a budget deficit

of about $700,000 and had misspent $1.8 million in 16th Section

school land funds. The district's superintendent resigned at the

end of April, and the Commission on School Accreditation downgraded

the district's status to "advisory," requiring the district to

develop a plan to fix its problems.

"It certainly makes the budget more doable," Strebeck said.

"When I came on board, we looked at every position."

On Friday, the state board unanimously approved Strebeck's

contract to work in the district from July 1 to Jan. 31 for

$98,000. His current contract, worth $17,500, started in mid-May

when he was appointed conservator.

Although the district will elect a superintendent in November,

Strebeck will not leave until the state decides the district's

issues have been corrected, members of the state board said Friday.

In coming months, Strebeck said he will work on a plan to get

the district's 16th Section land leases straightened out.