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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS is responding to a state audit criticizing the district for how it spends taxpayer money. Now teachers and administrators may see a pay cut.
Dr. Houston Barber, principal of The Academy at Shawnee, cut three support positions and a tech coordinator job at the end of the school year in favor of two more teachers in the fall.
"Those taxpaying dollars have to go to the desks of students," Barber said. "If we're paying too much money for these jobs that are not directly impacting students, then there has to be some questions about what are those roles doing for the greater good of academic achievement." JCPS promises this same critical look at staffing throughout the district as part of the official response to the state audit. A private company will review salaries for all 15,000 employees, analyzing who's overpaid, underpaid and on-track with industry trends. Auditor Edelen's report found JCPS spending too much on six-figure salary administrators, not enough on students' needs and teachers paid far more than faculty from similar schools in other states.
"If they can reallocate some of that money to put it more in the classroom and ease the burdens off the parents, for a public school that's a great idea," said Lauressa Rose, a parent.
JCPS is also pledging to address other issues, including poor textbooks and board members who fail to understand the school's budget.
"Where the rubber meets the road is on executing that plan: it's on implementation -- and I'll be vigilant in our oversight," said Ky. Auditor Adam Edelen.
One billion taxpayer dollars are at stake each year in JCPS -- and Barber says he's prepared for a pay cut.
"There will be change, good bad or indifferent," he said. "I have no fear whatsoever. If they want to cut my salary in half, so be it. I'll adjust."
All of his colleagues may not feel the same way.
"We've got to do a job for our kids -- and that's something I'll always push for," Barber said.