Fayette classrooms bear brunt of 73 personnel cuts, but Central Office almost untouched


— School board’s plan cuts 70 school positions, 3 central office slots as ‘bureaucracy motors on’— 

More details of the plan to reduce headcount came out at the April 8, 2024 School Board “Working Session.”

During a discussion about 2024-2025 school year allotments, it was announced that there would be a reduction of 73 positions with 70 of them coming from our excellent schools and 3 from the central office. For more detail with individual schools see the numbers below or on the BoE’s website: https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4067&AID=1631293&MID=116538

The system is forecast to have 217 less students next year or 1.1% less. The 70 reduced school based positions is from a workforce of 2,182 positions or 3.2% less. The Central Office is cutting 2-and-a-half positions out of almost 200 positions (or 0.6%) with the half position filled by an already retired person who was collecting salary on top of their full retirement.

Reasonable people should be disappointed by this information.

While the recording of the meeting is not available at the writing of this article — which is 48 hours after the meeting — it’s hard to believe there is sound rationale behind this plan.

Having been part of teams that have had to reduce costs and people, the work is never easy nor fun when people’s livelihoods are on the line. However, the customer has always been focus number one.

In this case, it appears to me the opposite is true. The classroom is bearing the brunt of the reductions while the bureaucracy motors on. To be clear, central office work is often necessary, but classroom work is vital. If we could not reduce central office work, how can the central office team rationally say that our already heavily taxed teachers can do more?

What data requests. documentation demands, PLC presentation, and other duties are going to go away to offset the work of larger class sizes? In recent years many of our schools have come to offer “remediation” where students can hand in late work for at least partial credit and students not happy with a test grade can request a retest. This is all creates more work for our excellent teachers and now they have more students.

The administration can claim that this is all a math exercise and enrollment allocations drove the numbers. That may be true, but it is odd, that while Fayette County High School is projected to have 53 more students and loses 3 staff and Sandy Creek High School gains 44 and loses 4 teachers, McIntosh gains 19 and loses only one-half person for staff allocation.

Some will argue that the homestead exemption voted by the taxpayers is a key cause of our current situation. Whatever, the explanation, the question is how do we use our money to provide the best schools for Fayette’s students.

It’s never feels good when someone loses their job and these decisions are very tough, however, it is hard to believe that this is the best plan anyone can come up with to best serve our schools given the problem has been openly discussed since August.

[Neil Sullivan is a finance/accounting executive and CPA. He has lived in Peachtree City over 20 years with his wife Jennifer, who has taught in the Fayette County School System, and son Jackson, a student at Erskine College. He has been active in public school related issues in Fayette County, leading three E-SPLOST initiatives as chairman of Fayette Citizens for Children.]


  1. Neil: Thanks for the informative piece! Positions should come from central staff, not from the classrooms!! There’s a lot of fluff at central office and they work hard to create tasks for teachers and school administrators so that their FCBOE position appears important. As you said, the teachers are not unionized.

  2. This is why people are leery of government. The FBOE asks taxpayers for more money and yet this decision clearly shows their lack of fiscal responsibility. Maybe they should of been more forward thinking before deciding to build a new school off Robinson Rd. The kids are being left behind and FBOE and teacher unions are to blame. No longer are policies made for their benefit, but are made to feed the bureaucratic machine. Kids are passed up and graduate yet can’t do simple math or read. Fayette County has money but personnel are spending on frivolous expenditures. I bet if money was spent on a good AI system you wouldn’t need half the administrative personnel. Which means taxpayers wouldn’t be paying for a bloated system and all their benefits. Also enough with the whining about seniors getting a discount on taxes. Did you consider these people have paid into a system for over 40 yrs and haven’t had kids in school for maybe two decades? Yet they get nothing in return for their money. How much is the apartment dweller with three children paying in school taxes? Seniors sell their houses to more people who contribute to the circumlocution system. Kids deserve better, government bureaucrats need to do better. Quit asking for more money, start being fiscally responsible. Kids first, bureaucracy last.

  3. 200 positions in the central office???? You’ve got to be kidding me. For what purpose?

    We don’t fund the school system so the central office can thrive. We fund the school system so the schools can thrive. If we are going to cut 73 staff…then all 73 need to come from this worthless central office.

  4. I applaud Mr. Sullivan for harping on FCBOE’s appropriation of taxpayers’ money. Our tax dollars should benefit teachers and students directly. I am concerned we have too many administrators who aren’t adding any value to the system. It’s time to curb the wasteful spending.

  5. Columns like this might not be necessary if john q. taxpayer knew about the millions of dollars FCBOE spends on trendy professional development programs, software licenses, “assessment” services, and boutique administrative positions (e.g. instructional “coaches”).