Stimulus saves school jobs, but future unclear

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Money from the federal stimulus act has saved 457 jobs in the Richmond County school system.

Superintendent Dana Bedden said last week that he worries money will run out too soon.  Special
Special
Superintendent Dana Bedden said last week that he worries money will run out too soon.

But will they last?

"That is going to be the big question," said Anita Faglier, the system's director of finance and accounting. "It depends on the economy."

If the state economy doesn't turn around in the next year or two, jobs saved could become jobs lost.

"That is not to say, if faced with doing away with positions, these would be the ones we would do away with," Mrs. Faglier said.

Ultimately, it will be the school board's decision on where to make cuts, she said.

Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden said last week, shortly after the board approved a new budget with the stimulus money, that he is concerned about the funds running out before the economy picks up.

"We were going to cut where we could before we used any stabilization funds," he said.

Because federal grant money is temporary, employees not being paid out of the system's general fund will have to sign paperwork acknowledging they are paid out of the stimulus, Mrs. Faglier said.

Richmond County used $14.8 million in stimulus money to plug holes in its budget and save jobs for the upcoming fiscal year. School officials were required to document which positions would have been lost without the stimulus.

Those jobs included teachers, paraprofessionals, bus monitors and clerical staff. Employees with the least seniority were chosen to be paid from the stimulus.

The stimulus money runs out in two years, when it's hoped that the economy will have picked up. Rules governing how the money can be spent, however, could put school systems in a bind even sooner.

More than $3.2 million directed at saving Richmond County school jobs this year won't be available for that purpose next year, Mrs. Faglier said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

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Casey Jones
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Casey Jones 06/25/09 - 03:37 am
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By the time this all shakes

By the time this all shakes out, many of y'all will have a better understanding of why Gov Sanford was opposed to the stimulus money for his state. This is just a band-aid on a bleeding artery.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 06/25/09 - 05:33 am
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someone should tell President

someone should tell President Obama that "hope" won't pay the bills.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 06/25/09 - 06:14 am
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I wonder if this economic

I wonder if this economic downturn will force the schools to go back to teaching reading, writing and arithmetic and knock off the "Jane has two mommies" and "self esteem is more important than self confidence" and revisionist history that seems to consume so much money and effort.

deeo1055@yahoo.com
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deeo1055@yahoo.com 06/25/09 - 06:24 am
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Hope so PT, hope so...

Hope so PT, hope so...

Little Lamb
52931
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Little Lamb 06/25/09 - 07:53 am
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Jobs have been "saved" for a

Jobs have been "saved" for a bloated school system that is losing enrollment every year. It is time to downsize in a really big way. And it is time to sell all surplus property at auction to the highest bidder - - no minimum selling price.

Captain Awesome
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Captain Awesome 06/25/09 - 08:49 am
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PT- RC doesn't teach that

PT- RC doesn't teach that kind of stuff but there certainly are things that can be cut to save money and improve performance. One thing to cut would be 'No Child Left Behind' but that's not up to us.

noway
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noway 06/25/09 - 09:18 am
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Someone should have woken up

Someone should have woken up eight years ago and not voted for Bush...oh wait, the majority of people didn't!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/25/09 - 11:07 am
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What a great idea the

What a great idea the stimulus is. We simply print money and use it to pay the bills. Heck, we should hire more employees, easy as this is.

business owner again
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business owner again 06/25/09 - 12:06 pm
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Why not get the campus cops

Why not get the campus cops bicycles? Why do they need police cruisers? I understand the need for security on campus, but how many millions of dollars have been wasted on the BOE Police Force? Sell the cars and buy them bikes.

business owner again
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business owner again 06/25/09 - 12:07 pm
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And by the way Little Lamb

And by the way Little Lamb .... AMEN!

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