Lowndes schools face big budget cuts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes schools face big budget cuts

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May 12, 2003

Valdosta - The state's poor budget brings bad news to Lowndes County schools. "We've been shielded from the budget cuts for the past couple of years but now its hitting us," said Superintendent Steve Smith.

In comparison to 2002's fiscal year revenues, this year's budget is 4.3 million dollars less. That means cutting 38 teaching positions. "We found we were overstaffed in some areas, so now we're having to cut back on some of those positions," said Smith.

The good news is no one will lose their job. "We've got teachers retiring and relocating, and it evens out so we won't have to actually release anyone still wanting their job," said Smith.

The bad news is larger class sizes. "The state's limit is 30 in each class, and we'll probably have about 28 or 29 in some," said Smith.

Smith says even though he'd hoped to reduce the number of students in classes, the quality of education will remain high. "The determinant of the quality of education is the teacher, not the size of the class," said Smith. "We have excellent teachers in this school system who will keep up that quality."

Smith says he's confident the economy will improve, and by fiscal year 2005, he'll be able to able to add the positions back he's had to cut.

posted at 2:40 by ashley.harper@walb.com