Richmond County school board expected to discuss possibility of furlough days for 2012-13 school year

Board of Education expected to discuss budget at meeting

Barbara Pulliam gets questioned at church, at community meetings and when she’s pushing a cart in the grocery store. Teachers are feeling the effects of the nine furlough days implemented this year and want answers about what’s in store for next year, said Pulliam, a Richmond County Board of Education member.

“A lot of teachers are concerned whether there will be more furlough days,” she said. “They want to know are they still going to have furlough days, will they be minimized, will they be at zero, will there be more?”

School board members will discuss the potential for furlough days for the 2012-13 school year at their regular committee meeting today. Pulliam said that because it is early in the budget process, the discussion might not provide definite answers, but she wants to get the conversation started.

Richmond County implemented nine furlough days this year to alleviate a $23.6 million state funding cut. They work out to an average loss of $2,476 for instructors, fewer training days for teachers and less class time for students.

Acting Superintendent James Whitson said the furloughs were a last resort after the system cut back several items and took $10 million from reserves.

Pulliam said she wants the district staff to look at cutting other items from the budget, possibly to restore the furlough days.

Other items to be discussed today include selection of architectural firms for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax phase IV projects, principal of the new Richmond County Career Technical Magnet School, class size waiver, Georgia prekindergarten program update and addition of physical education courses.

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