Put furloughs in perspective

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It is not a practice I generally exercise to respond to a comment found in the Rants and Raves section of The Augusta Chronicle. People should be convicted enough in their beliefs to identify themselves. I would rather address them face-to-face.

I am referring to the comment made about the use of furlough days. The author of the comment suggests that the administration and the school board welcome the use of furloughs. We know that the use of such a measure is a pay cut in pay for all employees. The fortunate reality is this: We were able to save jobs for people. In these very tough economic times, people need to remain employed at some level. And this is what the school board attempted to achieve.

This school system has lost more than $159 million in state revenue since 2003. If the school board eliminated all central office administration, including the superintendent, it would not generate even $3 million. Compare that to $20 million in lost revenue each year.

Both private and public institutions are having to navigate this economic storm.

Frank Roberson, Ph.D.

Augusta

(The writer is superintendent of Richmond County schools.)

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soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 07/18/13 - 08:06 am
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Boo. Boo. Boo. Every man is justified in his own eyes.
Unpublished

Boo. Boo. Boo. Every man is justified in his own eyes.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 07/18/13 - 08:07 am
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BS, More BS, Piled Hip Deep. LOL LOL LOL
Unpublished

BS, More BS, Piled Hip Deep. LOL LOL LOL

Little Lamb
45904
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Little Lamb 07/18/13 - 08:24 am
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Furlough

I am glad Dr. Roberson wrote this letter in response to a Rant in the newspaper. I empathize with the decisions he has to make to balance his budget. But I must respond to some weaknesses in the letter:

What about his assertion that his school system has lost more than $159 million in state revenue since 2003? Not so, Dr. Roberson. Just because you take some arbitrary high-water mark in state funding, you cannot say that you have lost something just because you didn't get as much state funding in a subsequent year. Who remembers what was going on in 2003 to bring in such copious amounts of state money? Was it the completion of the football stadia? Did you have a flurry of new school construction? Had the federal takeover (NCLB) not kicked in yet? Oh, yes, let us not forget that from 2008 through 2011 state income tax revenues dropped dramatically as private sector employees, business owners, retirees lost their jobs or took pay cuts. When the tax revenues shrink, apportionments to the schools have to be re-evaluated.

What about his assertion that by using furloughs the RCBOE was able to save jobs for people? I remind you, Dr. Roberson, that the RCBOE is not an employment agency. It is not your duty to save jobs for people. You need to look at the task you are charged with performing and the income you get from the federal, state and local taxpayers; and staff appropriately. If some people need to lose their jobs, so be it.

What about his assertion that both private and public institutions are having to navigate this economic storm? That is true enough; but what is interesting is how the private sector responds vs. how the government sector responds. This concept of furlough seems to be an exclusively governmental response. In the private sector you don't get to take off a few days in return for lower pay — instead you get lower pay but also are expected to come to work, to pull your load, to get the company back on track.

It is time to cut the pay of government employees and keep the work schedule at its normal level. Furloughs are a cop out and an affront to private sector employees and business owners who have taken pay cuts without time off.

ymnbde
9723
Points
ymnbde 07/18/13 - 09:04 am
1
1
school choice would be much cheaper

and even if it didn't educate
cheap and not educating is better than expensive and not educating
but it would work because rich people have shown it works
rich people already have it but the poor, they are denied

Little Lamb
45904
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Little Lamb 07/18/13 - 04:37 pm
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I Forgot

In my post above I forgot to mention that in the ten-year period from 2003 to now the Richmond County school system has had a decline in enrollment. That is an explanation for part of the declining state and federal revenues to the system, because those revenues are tied to size of school system.

mybaskett
224
Points
mybaskett 07/18/13 - 11:28 pm
0
1
School choice

Ymnbde

The last time I checked poor people have the right to vote. School choice could be an option tomorrow if the people who need it the most, would quit voting against their own best interest.

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