Columbia County schools could cut teacher jobs to save money

Friday, Feb. 6, 2009 12:49 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 10:05 PM
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Columbia County school officials, facing a tight budget in the next school year, might cut jobs to save money.

Superintendent Charles Nagle suggested today that the school system could eliminate about three dozen teaching positions, mostly through attrition.

The system is operating with $5 million less than initially budgeted this year, he said because of state budget cuts and the elimination of the Homestead Tax Relief Grant.

“Our goal is to finish the school year and get into next year without a deficit,” he said.

Following a morning work session, Mr. Nagle said he believes he can eliminate 37 teaching positions in kindergarten through eighth grades next year through attrition and by planning to fill classrooms to the maximum.

In previous years, school officials accounted for potential pupil growth by hiring enough teachers to keep class sizes below the maximum. However, state lawmakers recently upped the class sizes giving schools more leeway.

Since 90 percent of the school system’s about $176 million budget is payroll, such a move might save about $3 million, Mr. Nagle said.

Other potential position cuts include 10 Internet Technology employees, clerical aids at middle schools and career specialists at high schools.

School officials might also cut furniture purchases, except to meet the needs of the new Grovetown High School, and 10 percent in instructional supplies.

Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco stressed that Mr. Nagle was only making suggestions.

“I consider today to be a big think tank,” she said. “Nothing is set in stone.”

Following the elimination of the homestead tax credits, Columbia County commissioners cut 2.6 percent, nearly $1.5 million, out of their about $55 million budget.

Commissioners warned department heads and division directors Thursday that as much or more cuts might be expected next year.

“We do have a difficult, I guess unusual, budget situation,” commission Chairman Ron Cross said.

Reading from a memorandum he sent to county employees last month, Mr. Cross said, “We can’t spend what we don’t have.”

Though the county met projections for an 8-percent growth in the tax digest, projections for growth in sales tax revenues is down 3 percent producing an about $1 million shortfall, county Finance Director Leanne DeLoach said.

To combat the financial crisis, the county has initiated a hiring freeze and might defer or delay many capital requests, according to Mr. Cross’ memo.

Commissioners and school trustees will hold many more budget sessions in the coming weeks before finalizing their respective budgets.

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My_2nd
0
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My_2nd 02/06/09 - 01:57 pm
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but obama promised this would

but obama promised this would get better. i know, i know. a liberal democrat lying...what is the world coming to?

easy breezy
14
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easy breezy 02/06/09 - 01:59 pm
0
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Eliminate teachers- may as

Eliminate teachers- may as well eliminate education too!

pops1
43
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pops1 02/06/09 - 02:08 pm
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Eliminate Kindergarten

Eliminate Kindergarten teachers and stuff kids into classes for "maximum" class sizes??!!?? Wonderful! now my 5 yr old son gets to get "lost in the crowd" for next year's Kindergarten class!??!?! Where's the friggin "quality care" of our CHILDREN??? Overcrowding and poor budgeting... Sounds like NEW YORK CITY slum schools instead of QUALITY for our CHILDREN.. Columbia county should be ashamed of themselves.. Why don't the "higher ups" take paycuts instead of penalizing our CHILDREN'S EDUCATION!?!?!

pitiful.

LWEST
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LWEST 02/06/09 - 02:23 pm
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larger classes rooms will be

larger classes rooms will be the down fall for our children. i had to put my kids in private school to cut down on class size because they were getting lost in the crowd making d's and now they like to learn and are making a's and b's. larger classrooms is not the answer

witness
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witness 02/06/09 - 02:36 pm
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My 2nd, what does President

My 2nd, what does President Obama has to do with this? He has not been office 3-weeks and suddenly, everything is his fault. This was in the making before he even took office. As for Georgia, we have your wonderful Governor Sunny Purdue to thank for the challenges we are facing in Georgia. He cannot he manage is personal finances. He currently owes about 21 million which is due sometime in March.

sophiecat1
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sophiecat1 02/06/09 - 03:08 pm
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Ummm, LWEST the reason your

Ummm, LWEST the reason your kids do better in private school is because private schools pass all kids as long as parents pay their tuition.

Riverman1
84272
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Riverman1 02/06/09 - 03:08 pm
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It's about time some public

It's about time some public official got it. The economy is contracting and along with that tax revenue. Columbia County has a handful of staff at the central office. The lowest of any county its size. There is nothing to cut there. Thank you, Dr. Nagle.

jajo1012
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jajo1012 02/06/09 - 03:14 pm
0
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My_2nd, really, shut up.

My_2nd, really, shut up. Blaming a CCBOE problem on democrats in Washington and a three-week old President? You must be mentally retarded.

Mr. Thackeray
924
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Mr. Thackeray 02/06/09 - 03:40 pm
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Cut ADMINSTRATORS not

Cut ADMINSTRATORS not teachers!

Just My Opinion
5639
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Just My Opinion 02/06/09 - 03:57 pm
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Folks, the news is really

Folks, the news is really much worse than Nagle is letting on, and that's why Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco is trying to water it down so that parents won't look further into it! These are just some of the things that the schools are looking toward next year: no more common use of qualified substitute teachers..instead the schools will be using the present and unqualified/unlicensed paraprofessionals to "teach" the classes!......the existing paraprofessionals will now be pulled from their previously assigned classrooms to "fill in" wherever and whenever they are needed: to other classes, as a "substitute teacher", in the office, totally at the discretion of the principal and regardless of the disruption in continuity of their assigned class...the meager stipend that the teachers used to get at the beginning of the school year that they had to use to purchase items such as pencils, paper, glue, crayons, tape, staples, etc (ALL basic and necessary essentials in the classroom!) will be absolutely taken away! Gone! How do you think the teachers, and YOUR children, are going to learn without these items? Sonny Purdue has been Georgia's worst "education governor" ever!

LadyCisback
4
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LadyCisback 02/06/09 - 04:04 pm
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what is this world coming

what is this world coming to!!!!!.. cutting teachers!!!.. that's ridiculous... how are the children going to learn with a crowded classroom!!!..

My_2nd
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My_2nd 02/06/09 - 04:09 pm
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i don't only blame obama...i

i don't only blame obama...i blame bush as well. they are all to blame for the state of this country you morons. obama has promised change and claims one of his primary goals will be education. does not matter how long he has been in office. he will do nothing for this country, except sink it even deeper. let's see...3 weeks in office and his very first goal was to get rid of a military prison in cuba. yeah...i can see where is priorities will be. all that voted for obama should be shot at the end of his term.

christian134
1
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christian134 02/06/09 - 04:23 pm
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You want to cut jobs start

You want to cut jobs start with the top of the pile and work down...At least by the time you get to the actual teachers money will be saved so children will be taught...

marien
28
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marien 02/06/09 - 04:31 pm
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My 2nd that is a little harsh

My 2nd that is a little harsh wanting to shoot someone get a grip.........

Augustaguy1962
0
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Augustaguy1962 02/06/09 - 04:35 pm
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The entire mess the schools

The entire mess the schools are in rest at the feet of the incompetent Sonny Perdue. He may be cutting in many places but I promise you his home county has NOT lost a dime. In fact he has signed over $20 million of contracts for the national fairgrounds in Perry in the past 4 months alone. One building is named after him. He also has a lake going in there so kids can learn to fish. I guess the R's are not as important to him as fishing. He has also proposed $13 million more for the fairgrounds and $26 million in Cagle country for a chicken museum. I hope all the REPUBLICANS can use those things to teach our kids. He got a $21 million dollar loan from Ga. Farm Credit on $4 million dollars equity. Can any of us do that? NO NO NO He is facing repayment or bankruptcy what a great governor we have. So in Perdues own words carry a kid fishing, he will learn alot.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 02/06/09 - 04:37 pm
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Just My Opinion, at one CCSS

Just My Opinion, at one CCSS school during the previous superintendency, teachers were pulled from their respective planning periods to cover for their absent colleagues. Why didn't some of the five administrators assigned to the school cover classes? Were Humpty Dumpty and some of her fellow administrators afraid to face classes of students whom they had allowed to habituate running wild?

My_2nd
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My_2nd 02/06/09 - 04:41 pm
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this country has been taking

this country has been taking a dump on education for the past 40+ years. it's no wonder there are so many idiots walking around. politicians use education as a voting tool, but where does the least amount of $$ go? education, public safety, and anything else we need on a daily basis goes out the door when there are needless wars to fund and world "disasters" to support. oh and lets not forget big corporate bailouts and stimulus packages that do absolutely nothing for the economy. lets all get excited because obama wants to give us a small % of our taxes back so we can turn around and spend it on a t.v. . hell...people will have to use that money to pay for gas, food, and another month of rent. it's never too early to blame him. he's the boss now, that's the way it goes.

My_2nd
0
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My_2nd 02/06/09 - 04:46 pm
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marien - i have a grip. on

marien - i have a grip. on every gun i own. you know...the same guns obama would like to be taken away from all law abiding citizens. good luck!

Niko Mahs
83
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Niko Mahs 02/06/09 - 05:08 pm
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Thank you so much George W.

Thank you so much George W. Bush for making my county a great place.

SusieQ
1
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SusieQ 02/06/09 - 05:09 pm
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Hey, why not send your

Hey, why not send your children to a $30,000.00 a year private school, where they eat grilled salmon for lunch not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You folks voted him in because you thought you was going to get something for nothing. He's spreading the wealth all right--right in his own pockets. He wants to be KING of the hills!!!! SusieQ

iletuknow
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iletuknow 02/06/09 - 05:11 pm
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There is a lot of dead wood

There is a lot of dead wood in the teacher ranks.

My_2nd
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My_2nd 02/06/09 - 05:14 pm
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much more dead wood in

much more dead wood in washington d.c. my friend.

razordog
195
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razordog 02/06/09 - 05:26 pm
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sophiecat1 - Apparently you

sophiecat1 - Apparently you don't have children in private school. I have 2 and can say that your comment about passing them "just because parents pay tuition" is absolutely false. I can only speak for the school my children attend, but they will fail a child so fast your head will spin. Not because the school needs the money, but because the teachers and administration truly care about each child and their accomplishments. If I pulled my children out of the school they are in today, there would be 2 more waiting to start on Monday. They also know that parents make sacrificies to be able to send their children to private school. There is a lot more communication between teachers and parents, and unlike most public schools, they will put children out for misbehavior. Maybe you should ask other parents who have children in private school what their thoughts are. These are just mine...

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 02/06/09 - 06:02 pm
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why not suspend all athletic

why not suspend all athletic programs??? what sense does cutting TEACHERS MAKE and nothing is done to athletics...I THOUGHT SCHOOL WAS FOR LEARNING...BUT I GUES HERE IN GEORGIA AND WITH OTHER STATE, athletics is the tail that wags the dog...then people are amazed that georgia is either last or next to last in academic achievement..doesn't surprise me at all

iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 02/06/09 - 06:54 pm
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Here in Georgia,athletics IS

Here in Georgia,athletics IS education! Hence why you have plenty of the overly paid ball and whistle people.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 02/06/09 - 06:58 pm
0
0
Unfortunately, GA media pay

Unfortunately, GA media pay grotesquely large amounts of attention to high school and college athletics but depressingly little to scholastic excellence at the secondary and collegiate levels.

jaschild
5
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jaschild 02/06/09 - 07:21 pm
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justmyopinion is correct.

justmyopinion is correct. your children will be in the hands of undereducated paraprofessionals. they won't get the quality instruction in addition to the swelling classroom numbers. i agree, athletics should take a back seat. athletics can be pursued outside of school the extra stipends coaches make can also be cut just as the national board certified teachers will have their extra income cut.

jaschild
5
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jaschild 02/06/09 - 07:23 pm
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parents, please keep attuned

parents, please keep attuned to what is happening here. demand that your children receive quality education. make a presence known at the board meetings and demand accountability of all funds. it is your $$$$$ and children.

lovethe48
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lovethe48 02/06/09 - 07:24 pm
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Don't cut the teachers. What

Don't cut the teachers. What about all of those former teachers that have been promoted to "graduation coaches" or "curriculm specialist that don't teach anymore? Good idea but really, what do they do that a counselor hadn't been doing?

jaschild
5
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jaschild 02/06/09 - 07:50 pm
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lovethe48, i believe they are

lovethe48, i believe they are working on getting rid of the additional 'specialists' - read: plush jobs. from what i see, counselors do a lot of testing and arranging of schedules and not much counseling. and as discovered, personnel who work at least 20 hrs reap full time benefits. now that is rape. but i believe they are working to rid theirselves of these part time positions also. i feel as if the teachers who worked hard to become nationally certified shouldn't get their reward taken from them. let the higher ups lessen their hours or pay. teachers are the ones that educate the children everyday and these teachers went over and beyond all the other requirements that are put on them.

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