Richmond County schools brace for more cuts

Job cuts, furloughs might be necessary

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Richmond County schools could see an extra $5 million in state funding cuts for next school year, likely leading to furloughs or layoffs, board member Jack Padgett said Thursday.

After hearing from state education leaders, Padgett said the total cut now looks to be about $17 million -- about $5 million more than officials expected and $4 million more than was cut this school year.

Padgett said such a cut likely would force the school board to consider implementing six or seven furlough days or cutting 30 to 35 positions.

"And I don't know if it's over yet," said Padgett, who is the board's legislative liaison, referring to how the district's projected cuts continue to change as the state Legislature firms up needed cuts based on dipping state revenues. "That's my biggest concern."

Padgett said that should the projected cut for Richmond County next year grow beyond $17 million, "I don't know where we go from that."

This school year, Richmond County teachers have had their pay cut the equivalent of five furlough days, being given time off on early release and professional development days.

School system officials have said a furlough day in Richmond County represents about $1 million. Six to seven furlough days next school year would represent $6 million to $7 million of the potential cuts the system could face.

The difference of that figure and the overall $17 million in potential cuts, Padgett said, could come from other places, to include attrition, meaning fewer jobs that become vacant would be filled.

Padgett said he expects the state Legislature to firm up its potential cuts as early as April. After that, he said, the Richmond County school board will begin its budget discussions for next school year.

Already, Columbia County school officials have eliminated 11.5 teaching positions for next school year. Before this school year, officials cut about 100 positions, including about 70 teaching jobs.

Superintendent Charles Nagle stated in an e-mail Thursday that he had not heard of additional cuts to his district since statements made by the governor two weeks ago.

"We are in a holding pattern for the moment," said Nagle, who previously has said he expects to lose about $8 million in state funding next year.

Columbia County Bureau Chief Donnie Fetter contributed to this article.

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cristinadh
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cristinadh 03/26/10 - 06:17 am
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this is absolutely

this is absolutely ridiculous.. there should not be a price on education.. overcrowded classroom lead to teacher burnout and it is not conducive to a learning environment, not to mention the problems that arise from having too many students in a classroom..

class1
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class1 03/26/10 - 07:02 am
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Start by cutting all the

Start by cutting all the mathematics and language arts coaching positions!

Richmondcountyteacher
0
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Richmondcountyteacher 03/26/10 - 07:24 am
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First cut: All those RCBOE

First cut: All those RCBOE retirees from downtown who get hired back on as high priced "consultants"!
Next cut: Some of those do nothing administration position on Broad Street.
Next cut: How about reducing the crazy amount of testing we put students through.
The last cut: The hard working teachers and parapros who are on the front lines working with the students everyday. Of course we will be the first to feel the pain as our salaries are reduced yet again!

schoolparent
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schoolparent 03/26/10 - 07:48 am
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In the Columbia County

In the Columbia County schools the salary for an assistant principal is almost equal to two teacher's salaries. Does that make sense?

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 03/26/10 - 08:13 am
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dear rich cnty teacher....i

dear rich cnty teacher....i feel for you first they send you and your fellow teachers into a gun fight with a dull pocket knife. expecting you to teach disrespectful, disruptive and violent students who have no intentions or desire to learn, you are underpaid, undermanned and under-appreciated but blamed should the school fail to meet ayp or pass the crct. now they are taking about firing more teachers...nothing is said about the millions spent for the new b-ball gyms(butler), football stadium(laney), new field house(josey), running track(arc)...do you see a pattern??? all of the above mentioned schools are the worse in the county...yes thses athletic venues are paid for by funds voted on by the voters, but what you have to realize it is the school board that puts these requests on the ballot, which indicates where the priorities of the school board lies. it definitely isn't with education, if they were then teachers and parapro prositions would be the last to be reduced. hey inept school board here's a suggestion...SUSPEND ALL EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITES TO 3-5 YEARS

willienelson
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willienelson 03/26/10 - 08:43 am
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Why not stop all breakfast

Why not stop all breakfast and lunch programs. You could layoff about 7 workers per school, stop all equipment repair costs, eliminate the need for future kitchens at about $2 million a pop, and stop all abuse of these programs. Just provide a place for kids to eat their sack lunch from home. Then make bus transport to school a profit center. Figure what it costs for each bus route and charge parents accordingly.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 03/26/10 - 11:27 am
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lifelong, voters approved the

lifelong, voters approved the SPLOST, so now the BOE is bound by law to follow through with the athletic projects. How is a list of construction projects a lie? I didn't vote for the SPLOST because it included these projects, but the voters as a whole decided otherwise.
willie, breakfast and lunch is paid for through federal funding, which must be used for these purposes. The shortfall is in state funding.
cristina, when education makes up the largest portion of the state budget and revenue drops billions of dollars due to the recession, cuts must be made to education. It's just a reality.

willienelson
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willienelson 03/26/10 - 11:59 am
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Insider, where do federal

Insider, where do federal funds come from?????? Title 1 participation is not mandatory

KingJames
10
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KingJames 03/26/10 - 12:15 pm
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Willienelson, why don't you

Willienelson, why don't you cut the power off and give the kids candles to see with while trying to learn in cold buildings while you're at it?

lylagirl
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lylagirl 03/26/10 - 12:49 pm
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Class 1 you must have applied

Class 1 you must have applied for an Instructional Coach position and did not get it...don't be a hater...try being a motivator...it feels better. Get over it!!!!!

cleanup
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cleanup 03/26/10 - 01:23 pm
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lyla, no, Class 1 was right.

lyla, no, Class 1 was right. Those are unneeded positions, and are filled largely with unqualified people who were given those positions as favors and such. They should all be eliminated.

sweetpea
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sweetpea 03/26/10 - 02:24 pm
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What about the GA lottery?

What about the GA lottery? I'm sure people are spending just as much on lottery tickets so why can't some more of these funds be used towards education? Personally I think education should be the LAST fund to be cut!

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 03/26/10 - 02:34 pm
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sweetpea, by law, lottery

sweetpea, by law, lottery funds can only be used for Pre-K, HOPE Scholarships and K-12 technology, although the lottery hasn't funded technology in years.
That's the challenge with school systems. Much of the money is restricted for specific purposes.

lylagirl
1
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lylagirl 03/26/10 - 03:45 pm
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Cleanup as with any job,

Cleanup as with any job, there will be some slackers so instead of targeting one job title, let's target all the slackers in all areas to save money and someone's child from being hurt academically. Instructional coaches, the good ones, are needed in the schools ....so lay off of them!!!!!

DAMY46
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DAMY46 03/26/10 - 05:17 pm
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They used money from their

They used money from their 'reserve funds' the last two years to balance the budget...They can't keep doing that....Something has to give.

cristinadh
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cristinadh 03/26/10 - 08:54 pm
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it's still ridiculous!!

it's still ridiculous!!

redapples
672
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redapples 03/26/10 - 10:09 pm
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schoolparent - at my CC high

schoolparent - at my CC high school our APs earn every last cent of their pay...duty before school, discipline, curriculum, teacher evals, after school duty, duty attending ALL school events (nights, weekends in and around the CSRA), etc. I can think of many other cuts / areas of waste / before I took a look at high school APs.

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