LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An emergency meeting of Male High School's Site-Based Decision Making Council was called Friday morning after the school's principal was accused of making changes that will cause an over-staffing of teachers and counselors and violate Jefferson County Teachers Association guidelines.
Members of Male's SBDM Council said they were unaware of principal David Mike's plan to turn four teachers with counseling certifications into counselors for less pay.
"It's very difficult for three or four counselors to meet those guidelines and help the kids because each counselor has one grade," said Mike, "and so they all come to one counselor, and it's very difficult for one counselor to handle 400 students."
So Mike made the staff eight, but he learned that didn't fall under guidelines. The council learned six teachers would be overstaffed.
"They were told, 'We've got to make a decision today about what the counseling situation is going to be,'" said SBDM Council member Ben Wyman. "Without knowing anything more than that, my automatic reaction is, 'Well, I want to go back to our default was. I don't want to change anything because I don't know enough to do that. We didn't have a chance to talk to the counseling staff to know what their needs are, what they want to see."
Wyman says that input is critical, but a decision had to be made. The board voted for a counseling office of four -- three counselors and one college access resource teacher (CART) -- to help relieve the counselors of all the college prep work and focus on the mental health of students. Six could be overstaffed, but the principal says he's hoping to bring back three.
The council will reconvene on May 19 to discuss the finances of the vote, but principal Mike says it should be okay.
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