Lowndes Co. Schools must cut $11M from budget - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes Co. Schools must cut $11M from budget

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –  South Georgia school systems are making more immediate budget cuts as they wait to find out how much money they'll lose from the state for next school year.

As more furlough days are set, some teachers worry about layoffs.

Lowndes County School leaders are working to avoid that.  Every teacher in the Lowndes County School System received a letter from Superintendent Steve Smith Monday night about more budget cuts.

A portion of it says they have cut $11 million from the current budget for the next school year.

"We're looking at a reorganization plan a reduction of staff," said Lowndes County Schools Public Relations Director Lynne Wilson. "We are hoping to be able to take care of that reduction in staff through attrition and retirement program."

As an incentive for those able to retire the superintendent and the board approved a retirement incentive program of 10 percent.

As for furloughs, when the governor's mid term budget came in they had to make adjustments.

The school board approved three furlough days this semester. They say this will make up for the $650,000 they must cut this school year.

Wilson says instructional time is not lost because each grade exceeds the amount of instructional time the state requires in each school day.

The Georgia Association of Educators advocates for school system employees. LeeAnn Turano says their President suggested creating a Tax Examination Economic Development and Funding for Public Schools Commission to go to the capitol.

"It looks at the taxation and how we tax big corporations, and looking at the tax incentives the corporations get, because we know that tax money in turn is what goes towards our school budgets," said Turano.

She says they want to know where the money is going because they want education fully-funded.

 The additional furlough days for Lowndes County this school year were set for February 16th, May 20th, and Friday May 21st. 

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