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Decision on teacher furloughs, tax increase delayed

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Decisions about a possible tax increase in Richmond County and how many furlough days teachers could face next school year will be made next week.

The timeline for adoption of next fiscal year's school budget was set Tuesday at a called school board budget hearing, where members agreed to take the vote at 3:30 p.m. June 8, before regularly scheduled committee meetings.

The decision to delay the vote -- which was expected Tuesday -- followed lengthy discussion on three options to balance the roughly $240 million budget:

- Eight furlough days for workers, 35 teacher cuts through attrition and no increase in taxes

- Eight furlough days, 35 teacher cuts by attrition and increasing the tax rate to the cap.

- Six furlough days, 35 teacher cuts through attrition and increasing the tax rate to the cap.

The proposed tax increase for the owner of a $100,000 home would be $29.89 a year.

The board was told it couldn't approve a budget Tuesday until a motion made in an earlier meeting by Vice President Alex Howard was rescinded. Howard had asked that board member Jack Padgett meet with the school system's transportation council before any budget adoption.

Padgett was asked to do so after he had made a motion in an earlier meeting that all school system workers take the same number of furloughs. That was counter to an administration proposal that bus drivers, bus monitors and paraprofessionals be allowed to take fewer furlough days, partly because they were unable to receive equal time off from last year's furloughs.

Howard agreed to rescind his motion, but the school board attorney said it couldn't be added to Tuesday's meeting agenda and therefore had to be addressed at another meeting.

The school board has decided half the furlough days would come by reducing teachers' contract work days, meaning they wouldn't have to pay their retirement contributions for those days.

Padgett reiterated he favors eight furlough days and going to the tax cap to provide flexibility should the district be hit with additional midyear cuts. He said that if those cuts don't come, two furlough days could be restored.

"I think we're looking out for the employees and also the system as a whole," he said.

School board member Frank Dolan, though, who has said he opposes a tax increase, questioned the costs of running the school system's central office, calling its salary figure of more than $20 million "excessive."

Superintendent Dana Bedden countered that many employees have their salaries processed through the central office but work in the field. He also said more than $2 million has been trimmed in that area and further cuts could affect services.

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Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 06/02/10 - 03:18 am
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Shouldn't have spent all that

Shouldn't have spent all that excess tax money they got on bass fishing. Do ya'll remember when Georgia gov't had a tax surplus and were debating on what to do with it? Then Perdue got a fish museum in his home county. Then we got extended boat ramps for the drought seasons. That stuff cost $90 million! Ever heard of a cane pole and fishing from the bank?

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 06/02/10 - 07:33 am
0
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When are we going to cut the

When are we going to cut the WASTE in the central office.. The school system should be educating students not protecting dead wood.

dichotomy
32003
Points
dichotomy 06/02/10 - 10:40 am
0
0
Cut administrative staff! Are

Cut administrative staff! Are you kidding? No no no. Let's raise taxes and throw more money at a totally failed system. Let them keep on doing the same old things they have been doing. Let's not shake things up and make some changes that might actually improve education. More money is always the answer. Property tax payers in RC ain't got a prayer and neither do the schoold kids. Keep on electing the same old "pro-education" candidates to the school board RC. You get nothing from them but tax increases and kids that are as stupid coming out the back door as they were going in the front door. The "throw more money at education" thing is coming to a financial head people and you had better start paying attention to who you put on the school board. We are tapped clean out of spare money and you had better find some candidates who realize that and who also realize the problems with the quality of education are not money related.

OIC
19
Points
OIC 06/02/10 - 11:11 am
0
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Cut the Principals to a third

Cut the Principals to a third of the force and save the teachers. One principal for every three or four schools. Example: Glenn Hills Elementary, Glenn Hills Middle and Glenn Hills High School could be under one principal who can repond as needed. The three schools are within a mile of each other. Could probaly throw Terrace Manor in with these schools as well. In addition remove/ demote Frazier. Glenn Hills Spartans deserve better.

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 06/02/10 - 11:17 am
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0
OIC that's crazy...you are

OIC that's crazy...you are not in education are you?

OIC
19
Points
OIC 06/02/10 - 11:27 am
0
0
Furlough days equate to a pay

Furlough days equate to a pay cut and we will start losing teachers to other school districts. Better to eliminate excess administration and make up the losses with extra responsibilities shared by the faculty of each school. I would also set a cap on teacher salaries until the economy improves. Eliminate the extra pay for highter education.

OIC
19
Points
OIC 06/02/10 - 11:40 am
0
0
justbeasy you need to think

justbeasy you need to think outside the box. We need the teachers more than the administrator. I did not say eliminate all the administrators. With my plan you still have the vice prinicipals who can assist when the prinicipal is at one of the other schools.

redapples
658
Points
redapples 06/02/10 - 03:42 pm
0
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OIC, please say you are NOT

OIC, please say you are NOT in education.

lylagirl
1
Points
lylagirl 06/02/10 - 08:22 pm
0
0
Lord...Lord...Lord.....it's

Lord...Lord...Lord.....it's getting worser rather than better....

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 06/02/10 - 08:50 pm
0
0
A Message to all RCBOE Board

A Message to all RCBOE Board members why not vote to have everyone take furlough days at the same time. If teachers are not in the building then students are not in the building, hence no need for bus drivers, paraprofessionals, lunchroom workers, custodians, principals, etc. Mr. Starks (??) reported savings the county experienced when the buildings were closed. Here is another example of waste. you hired the man, yet you don't take his findings and utilized them in an effective way. Another questions why are you even considering promoting the science coordinator to the position of curriculum director? Why promote then hire someone for the science coordinators position DURING A BUDGET CUT??? If it is required that the county has someone in that position why not hire a highly qualified parttime person, IT IS MORE COST EFFECTIVE. The tax payers are watching you!

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