Teacher limbo lasts longer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teacher limbo lasts longer

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Georgia school teachers may have to wait a little later to find out if they have jobs, thanks to a new law gives school systems another month to consider whether a teacher's contract will be renewed.

School Systems say it gives them a little more time to juggle their budgets.

The Dougherty County School System has 1,400 certified employees. By giving them an extension on when those contracts have to be signed, gives them the chance to take a close look at their budget and see how they can best work the numbers.

While the school year is far from over at Lake Park Elementary School they're already planning how many teachers they'll need in the fall.

"We do plan far in advance, it can be difficult sometimes if your not sure what your student count is going to be," said Lake Park Elementary Principal Catherine Whitfield.

This school year they've added a teacher, and kindergarten classes are maxed out. They're glad systems are being given a little extra time to plan for what they need.

"If you've got a little more time you can see about adjusting teachers from one school to another school and they still have a job," said Whitfield.

The Dougherty County School System recently did a system analysis to make sure efficiency levels are at their best.

"Last year we took such a close look at how many children per class and how many teachers per school that we think we've got efficiency down pretty tight already," DCSS Public Information Officer R. D. Harter.

With schools still unsure what additional budget cuts may come their way, any advantage helps.

"Any kind of flexibility in funding in the funding process helps planners, helps fiscal planners," said Harter.

Giving them more time to prepare for the worst.

One of the downfalls to this proposal is how it affects teachers, if their contract isn't renewed, it gives them less notice that they need to find a new job.

It would also allow school systems more time to cut teachers if the state increases class size.

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