Will teachers be furloughed? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Will teachers be furloughed?

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia school teachers are waiting to find out if they'll be furloughed and it's likely they will. Governor Perdue announced this week that widespread cuts to state agencies will be necessary because of a $900 Million budget shortfall.

Even though students and teachers are still technically on summer vacation, it was hard to tell that here at Lake Park Elementary School Friday. Dozens of teachers have reported for duty a week before they are required in order to to get a jump start on the school year.

They've heard the talk of furloughs, and the teachers we spoke to say, while no one wants that to happen, they aren't terribly surprised.

Third Grade teacher Donna Gleaton will tell you she didn't choose her profession for the big paychecks.  She said, "Anybody who teaches is not in it for the money. You're in it because it's your calling. It's what you enjoy doing, you do it for the children. You really don't do it for the money."

And really not this year, especially since there's the possibility Gleaton and her colleagues will be furloughed, up to three work days.

"Of course, the possibility of furloughs is disappointing, however, the situation could be worse and the entire economy across the United States in not good right now," Gleaton said.

DCSS Spokesperson R.D. Harter said, "The public needs to know that these are dire economic times and when it effects our childrens education, we should all be concerned with the state of our economy and what we can do to improve it."

As for Gleaton, she'll report for duty whenever she's needed. Even if she isn't being paid, just like today.  Why?  She said, "Because no matter what, those kids are going to walk through the door on the first day of school and I will have a better year if I'm ready when they come through."

Some of the teachers we spoke to Friday said in addition to their time working this week, they plan to come in over the weekend to get their classrooms ready and their lesson plans in order for when kids return.

There is no final word on if furloughs are definite in Dougherty County or how many days teachers may be furloughed, but the School Board will meet next week to discuss making those cuts.


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