Dougherty students won't miss class time - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty students won't miss class time

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Students will not miss class time in Dougherty County where the school board today set furlough dates for all system employees.

The furloughs are necessary because the state is cutting more money from local systems.

Today was the first paid day for teachers in the classroom, typically they get five days to get their classrooms ready and attend planning sessions. Those days will be cut short this year with the first furlough day on Tuesday, the day before school starts.

Students will fill what are now empty classrooms next week. With one less day to plan, will teachers be ready?

"A lot of teachers have been working even before today to get their classrooms ready," said Second Grade Teacher Tammy Gregors.

It got heated at times as school board members took more than a half hour debating when teachers should be furloughed.

"I though it would be a little bit more efficient if we were there the day before school to be ready to go,"  said DCSS School Board Member Michael Windom.  

But that won't be the case, Tuesday August fourth will be Teachers first day unpaid, along with planning days on October 8th and December 18th. The furloughs have raised legal issues.

"There's a provision in it that says that essentially if the funds are not available from the state then you can modify the pay of your employees," said DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman.

Because the contract also states how many days a teacher is required to work, it could be legal grounds for a lawsuit. It's three days this year but the hardship will be felt through next year.

"A little bit out of every check rather than hitting them in one or two months if you will,"   said DCSS Superintendent Dr. Sally Whatley.

It's likely not the end, Dr. Sally Whatley warned the board Governor Sonny Perdue predicts more cutbacks. She knows dedicated teachers like Tammy Gregors will still come to work Tuesday despite not getting paid.

Gregors and several other teachers here said they'll be here Tuesday because it's important to have everything ready for their students and because they've got a good team here at Sherwood Acres from the new principal to the staff. 

In Dougherty County, year-round employees such as the superintendent and central office secretaries will be furloughed December 23rd, 24th, and 31st.

Department of Curriculum and Instruction employees will be furloughed July 31st, August third, and  fourth.

      • Click HERE for DCSS documentation relayed to the furloughs

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