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COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools says new jobs added to its budget will help address overcrowding and high risk students, among other issues.

The Columbia Board of Education Finance Committee has allocated $4 million for 41 new positions, most of which will be in classrooms. CPS Chief Financial Officer Heather McArthur said the additions are based on growth.

“The last couple of years, we’ve grown about 500 students,” she said.

McArthur said the new allocations will help "keep up and maintain class sizes and add enough teachers.” 

Board member Jonathan Sessions said CPS wants to make sure it continues to provide enrichment opportunities for students.

“Achieve, enrichment and opportunities are our watch words,” he said. 

Part of the increased attention is looking at “high-risk students” at Battle High School, McArthur said. Some of the new people will address behavioral issues at the school. 

“There will be an instructional aide position that’s added there for hall monitoring,” McArthur said. “There is also going to be an addition of an assistant director of security, which will be housed at Battle to help with the needs there specifically.”

McArthur said the budget is still open to revisions until the school board votes in June. There will be another presentation to the full board Monday.