Valdosta School System won't furlough - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta School System won't furlough

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -  Thousands of south Georgia school teachers are being forced to take unpaid time off. But at least two area school systems are just saying "no" to the Governor's request for furloughs.  

Valdosta City School teachers are getting their classrooms ready for students to return to school next week. They're glad to hear they won't be furloughed, at least not now.

"What we actually did is delay the furlough to give me time to plan and see if I can come up with the money from another source to offset that," said Dr. Bill Cason, Superintendent Valdosta City School System.

Cason is looking for other ways to save $478,000. One idea is to use volunteers instead of paying substitute teachers.

"I'll go to our retired teachers organization to see if I can find some teachers who are willing to come back and volunteer some time," he said. "I plan to go to the PTO and ask if I can find parents who are willing to do the two to three hour substitute training. We'll also use our Para-pros that are currently employed to cover absenteeism."

Valdosta and Brooks County School systems are able to avoid furloughing for now and teachers say its great news. Kevin Trimble is teaching fifth grade math and science at the brand new W. G. Nunn School. He knows he's luckier than many south Georgia teachers.

"My wife's a teacher at Lowndes and of course they are taking the furloughs," said Trimble. "That would be six days in our family income so I'm extremely grateful."

The Brooks County School System is losing $418,000 in state funding, but leaders there also think they can find ways to offset the cuts without sending teachers home without pay.

The Valdosta Superintendent says forcing teachers to rush to get ready for the school year by taking away two of prep days would have hurt morale and would not have been a good way to begin the year.

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