Originally created 09/24/05

School closings cause trouble for parents



Gov. Sonny Perdue's plan to conserve gas oline is going to cost parent Shemika White.

Ms. White, a mother of two, will have to find extra cash to put her daughter in day care Monday and Tuesday now that a request by the governor has closed down the state's schools those two days.

"I'm going to be financially in a bind," she said Friday afternoon as she picked up her 4-year-old son Frank from day care. "I have to take her here, I can't take her to work."

Area day cares were flooded with calls Friday as parents heard the news that the schools were being shut down.

"Just because school is out, that doesn't mean that parents don't have to work," said Donna Cotton, 49, the owner of Cotton's Learning Center of Serenity on Norfolk Street.

Ms. Cotton said that as soon as parents found out about the closings, they began to call to schedule their children for next week.

"It really puts them in a position," Ms. Cotton said.

Mr. Perdue asked state school superintendents to close Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to fend off a possible gasoline shortage caused by Hurricane Rita. The governor also is encouraging state employees to work from home and is requesting that employers across the state follow suit.

Ms. Cotton has no plans to follow the governor's advice and shut her business down.

"Parents have to work hard enough as it is, so we'll be open," she said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 828-3904 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.