School system looks to cut without cutting staff - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School system looks to cut without cutting staff

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Dougherty County school system is looking for ways to avoid getting rid of teachers. They've had to trim millions from the current budget, and may be forced to cut another million in just four months.

Administrators hope to keep all the current teachers on the job, though some may have to move to different schools next year. Like every other business and government body the Dougherty County School System is counting pennies and making sure each one spent is necessary.

R.D. Harter said, "Every position in the school system is being looked at to make sure that the right people for the right job and the most important positions are the classroom instructional positions."

Administrators are literally taking inventory of positions and making sure there are no wasteful spots. While they hope to avoid laying off any teachers, they certainly may move some around.

He said, "While we don't feel like we'll lose teaching slots this year, they may have to move to another school where the population demands that they be just to meet the demand for student population in another school next year."

The Governor has asked the state school board to allow for class size waivers. That would alleviate the need to hire additional teachers for just a handful of students. And some stimulus funds will be allocated to pay for employee healthcare. But money will still be very tight. Some positions aren't being filled, and others may held later on.

"We will probably move people and we will probably be real deliberate in our search for needs of unfilled positions and how rapidly those particular functions need to be replaced."

Until money is placed back in the budget. There also won't be a big emphasis on teacher recruitment this year. While the system wants to hire top-notch employees, they can't afford the big costs associated with major career fairs.

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