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Columbia County school board cuts positions, adds furlough days to save money

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The Columbia County school board added furlough days and cut positions Wednesday to save money.

Superintendent Charles Nagle said he is expecting to lose about $6 million in state funding for next school year.

To recoup that, Nagle added five furlough days into next year's calender, which the board approved. By eliminating five days, the system will save about $3 million, he told board members.

Three of those days will be staff development days, while the remaining two are instruction days.

This school year, state officials withheld the funding for six school days, but Columbia County just took away three.

The new calendar includes a week off for Thanksgiving, which was introduced this school year.

Should tax revenue or state funding exceed expectations, furlough days can be eliminated from the calendar, Nagle said.

The board approved eliminating 25 positions, including 12 teaching positions.

The cuts will save about $1.3 million, Deputy Superintendent Sandra Carraway said.

Most of the cuts can be accommodated through attrition, but some teachers likely will be laid off.

At least five positions were in the middle-school Spanish program, which the board decided to phase out Wednesday.

"If you don't cut this, you've got to cut something else," Nagle told school trustees.

The program had been taught to seventh- and eighth-graders, who earned a Spanish I credit.

The program will continue for one more year, so the 455 seventh-graders enrolled in the course can finish the program next year.

The move will save the school system about $350,000 next year and $210,000 the following school year, when middle school Spanish will be gone for good.

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Concerned Tax Payer
24
Points
Concerned Tax Payer 04/28/10 - 11:49 am
0
0
It is sad that employees will

It is sad that employees will lose their jobs. Hopefully the school system can find a way to let retirement ease the budget restraints and these Spanish teachers have credidentals that will allow them to be moved to other teaching positions that will become vacant.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 04/28/10 - 12:20 pm
0
0
The Thanksgiving week,

The Thanksgiving week, coupled with other schedule changes, means school will be starting much earlier than was originally published. Parents who have already made vacation plans get dumped on by the school board... once again.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 04/28/10 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Sorry csrsreader, but the

Sorry csrsreader, but the parents are NOT getting dumped on by the Board, they are getting dumped on by the State, and its inability to forcibly collect taxes from deadbeats. The Board is just having to work with the cards dealt to it. Hey, when they screw up, I'll be one of the first to say something, but your post this time isn't fair.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 04/28/10 - 12:48 pm
0
0
What does adding a vacation

What does adding a vacation week at Thanksgiving have to do with the state not collecting taxes from deadbeats? The school board changed the school calendar for next year AFTER their original schedule was published and parents scheduled vacations. Yes, the school board dumped on parents by changing the calendar for convenience, not necessity.

Mr. Thackeray
942
Points
Mr. Thackeray 04/28/10 - 12:49 pm
0
0
Athletics, God forbid we cut

Athletics, God forbid we cut any of that! Keep the coaches and the programs going strong, eliminate teachers, wonderful!

Chillen
17
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Chillen 04/28/10 - 12:54 pm
0
0
Why are all the cuts in the

Why are all the cuts in the classroom and to instruction of the kids? like Spanish or regular school days in which teachers are furloughed.

Cuts definitely do have to be made but how about some admin cuts Col County? Lets see what you've got there.

That shiny new building you all "reside" in is over the top. Most everyone there has personal secretaries. But we can't give that up can we? Let's cut from the kids & the teachers instead. Are there any trips planned that can be cut? How about eliminating that stacked stone from the next middle school you build?

Bull Crap.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 04/28/10 - 12:57 pm
0
0
Something else to consider.

Something else to consider. Cuts to the middle school spanish sound great, but those several hundred kids participating still have to be educated in a classroom somewhere and someone has to be paid to educate them in something.

You are just shifting the expense to another program. The kids aren't going to just go away because Spanish is gone.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 04/28/10 - 01:26 pm
0
0
mr. thackeray, my sentiments

mr. thackeray, my sentiments exactly, here in richmond county it's the same mentality...except here a lower emphasis is placed on academics the proof is none of the traditional school made ayp, low test scores/graduation rates and the only concern here is to get projects on the ballot to have the taxpayers build new football stadiums/b-ball gyms/running tracks for schools that can't meet ayp and for the really bad ones get rewarded with federal grants to do nothing but be used for waste, ineffective and useless "programs" for schools that should have been closed years agao

scoobynews
3855
Points
scoobynews 04/28/10 - 01:29 pm
0
0
I can't believe the parents

I can't believe the parents that whine on here! The CCBOE website has said since the end of December 2009 that the calendar was a "PROPOSED" calendar with these words underneath it - THIS CALENDAR IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON LEGISLATIVE ACTION. Once again the apples don't fall too far from the tree there are kids that don't read directions and parents that don't read the fine print. I am sure all the teachers that work in CC are so sorry that you want be able to finalize your vacation plans or worse yet have to rearrange them considering they are losing jobs, having their pay cut, not getting a cost of living raise, paying increased fees in insurance cost next year, have larger class room size, extra duties due to lack of staff, and will be lucky to AFFORD a vacation this summer or any for the next few years. Get over yourself.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/28/10 - 01:30 pm
0
0
It's not the school board or

It's not the school board or the state. It's the economy. When tax collections are down, the state has less money. When it has less money, school boards have less money. It's sad, but it's reality.

countyman
20236
Points
countyman 04/28/10 - 01:44 pm
0
0
Does lifelongresident copy

Does lifelongresident copy and past the samething in every article. He/she has a real bias against somebody in RC. A lower emphasis on placed on academics? Davidson is the best high school in all of GA. AR Johnson is ranked in the top 5 high schools in the state of GA. Westside also in Richmond county SAT scores are higher than every school in Richmond/Columbia county. Except for Davidson, Lakeside, AR Johnson, and Greenbrier

f1262
0
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f1262 04/28/10 - 01:49 pm
0
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My question to all of you is

My question to all of you is why do the teachers have to front the bill for the schoolboard's issues? What is the schoolboard doing about taking a paycut themselves? Really it is the kids that suffer the most when they are condensed into an over populated room. Why is less teachers the answer to the problem.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 04/28/10 - 02:11 pm
0
0
If you already planned a

If you already planned a vacation, no one is stopping you from taking it! Our vacation runs after school starts back, but guess what? SO WHAT! The kid will miss a day or two of school, big whoop.
So your argument doesn't stand water.
And ditto on the above, don't take a second look at your pay rate, or the cost of cooling your bum while pushing pencils, or for the dozen other things you could cut back on. Let's just keep penalizing the teachers. Yep, that's always the answer..

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 04/28/10 - 02:14 pm
0
0
F1262, cutting teachers plus

F1262, cutting teachers plus furlough days saves tons of cash don't ya know.. Take X amount of teachers times X salary, big buckaroos.. CC is following right behind AC and RC, cut teachers and pay. Yet, RC wants to install cameras on the bus. OKKK

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/28/10 - 02:42 pm
0
0
F1262, it's not just

F1262, it's not just "teachers," but all certified employees. About 90 percent of the budget is used to pay employees, and certified employees account for the largest majority of the 90 percent.

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 04/28/10 - 02:43 pm
0
0
Here's my thinking: CCBOE

Here's my thinking: CCBOE wants our children to start on August 5th. Isn't August hotter than June? According to the Almanac it sure is. Why not start in early September and run thru mid-June? You'll save money on the power bills by not utilizing the A/C so much in August. Has any one of them looked into this?

In response to f1262, I wish I knew. My sister-in-law is a teacher in NY and just received her lay-off notice last Friday. She is one of the most dedicated teachers I know. Even planned having a baby around the school calendar and what does she get, nothing!

WE ALL need to do something. Bombard the BOE with letters and e-mails, go to the meetings and speak your mind. Vote them out of office!

countyman
20236
Points
countyman 04/28/10 - 02:44 pm
0
0
I can't speak for Aiken

I can't speak for Aiken County. But Richmond county isn't cutting teachers or pay.

''Agreed to have no more furlough days for the rest of this school year. Officials have said they can forgo the furloughs because of energy conservation measures and greater-than-anticipated property tax revenue''.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2010-04-20/night-security-camera...

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 04/28/10 - 02:50 pm
0
0
That's because RC already had

That's because RC already had its furlough days. To my knowledge, all counties have established those.
IsAmerica, here here!! I remember we didn't go back to school till after labor day! Vacations still took place, and thats just how it was.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 04/28/10 - 02:51 pm
0
0
hey county, i think you need

hey county, i think you need to read more...i always state "all traditional high schools" davidson/johnson/walker are not traditional high schools they are magnet schools...did you graduate from one of the traditional high schools??? maybe you did...the reason i continue to hammer the school board is the state of education of this state/country, you have a local school board that will fire/layoff a teacher, parapro or anyone else directly connected with education while building new athletic venues for schools tht year after year fail to meet ayp...then when the schools turn out functional illiterates who can barely read the diploma they are given and can't find a job and turn to selling drugs and other crimes you will be the first on line to place blame on society. or when the school board gut the property owners in the form of higher and higer property taxes not for more teachers, textbooks or schools supplies but for wasteful, useless and ineffective programs that just don't work you probably could care less just as long as on fridays during the fall there is football

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 04/28/10 - 02:53 pm
0
0
p. s. hey country you need to

p. s. hey country you need to go on the state education website and see where the entire school system of richmond county DID NOT MEET AYP......

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/28/10 - 03:06 pm
0
0
i agree with

i agree with lifelongresident. How dare the RCBOE actually follow the law and build projects overwhelmingly approved by the voters.
And, p.s., most school systems in Georgia didn't make AYP. That includes Columbia County.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 04/28/10 - 03:11 pm
0
0
Scoobynews... take a chill

Scoobynews... take a chill pill. Obviously you're part of the school system as it is reflected in your thinking. You reference the statement that the school calendar was subject to CHANGE BASED ON LEGISLATIVE ACTION. When did the state legislature dictate the starting dates for the Columbia County Board of Education. As far as I can determine, they did not. Our local Education geniuses made this mess all on their own. And if that is the case, maybe our kids won't miss much after all if they take the first week of school as vacation.

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 04/28/10 - 03:23 pm
0
0
I have nothing against school

I have nothing against school teachers, but come on. They are in one of the few remaining professions where they can work for a designated number of years and then get a guaranteed pension for the rest of their lives... and they get every summer off. All in all, not a bad deal even if they have to sacrifice their cost of living raises for the time being.

robelenj
0
Points
robelenj 04/28/10 - 04:04 pm
0
0
Just for the record, athletic

Just for the record, athletic programs are funded through the local school and not through the state budget. Cutting athletics will in no way provide any additional income for the schools. Revenue for athletics are recouped through the ticket sales. Are you going to pay to see a basketball game that isn't going to happen? I DON'T think so. State money has to be used under strict guidelines and cannot be used for certain things.

corgimom
33162
Points
corgimom 04/28/10 - 04:36 pm
0
0
''Agreed to have no more

''Agreed to have no more furlough days for the rest of this school year. Officials have said they can forgo the furloughs because of energy conservation measures and greater-than-anticipated property tax revenue''.

Somebody can't tell the difference between THIS school year and the next one.

corgimom
33162
Points
corgimom 04/28/10 - 04:38 pm
0
0
By the way, Countyman, you

By the way, Countyman, you said on here, when talking about LW, that you've seen many schools' graduation rate jump to the high 80's if middle class and upper middle class people move into the area. I love that idea, could you please tell me what schools those are so that I can research them?

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 04/28/10 - 05:13 pm
0
0
hey roble, who paid for the

hey roble, who paid for the football stadium-laney, new b-ball gym-josey, new b-ball gym-butler and running track-arc...how many bake sales did it take to build these athletic venues??? yes the improvements were voted on by the people, but what forward thinking school board official would even put or allow these items on the ballot when there aren't enuff textbooks, schools supplies or money to pay teachers, parapros, bus drivers or make sure the buses are properly repaired???

cusinga
0
Points
cusinga 04/28/10 - 05:44 pm
0
0
Sports are more important

Sports are more important than education and what about that big Stallings Island school that sits half empty?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 04/28/10 - 08:41 pm
0
0
The athletic facilities were

The athletic facilities were built through a sales tax. Sales tax cannot by law be used to pay salaries or any other operational cost. And voters approved it. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the voters. Or, fight to get the tax repealed.

troylus
1
Points
troylus 04/28/10 - 08:51 pm
0
0
@ csrareader: Well, you just

@ csrareader: Well, you just don't have a clue. The calendar doesn't 'dump' on parents. The money isn't there. If you follow the time line, CCBOE set its calendar BEFORE the governor told systems he was withholding 6 days worth of pay. The school year had already started. If you wanted your vacation, I guess you should have volunteered to pony up the money to keep everything open.

And all those summers teachers have off--they don't get paid for having time off. And that pension they get--they actually are mandated to pay into it. Plus, Governor P. is recommending that they pay an additional 6% more! Imagine! Teachers are actually PAYING into their retirement system. All that time you thought it was just a gimme. So, if you want to contribute to your own pension plan the same as teachers do, have at it! All in all, not bad idea for anyone.

And if you have to say you don't have anything against someone, you probably do.

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