Richmond County School leaders will make the final decision on a budget that may result in eliminating more than 100 positions in the school system. WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop explains.
100 is a number that no school official wanted to see going into tonight's call board meeting, but the state has cut the county's budget by 23 million dollars, and they have to do something to meet that number.
In the final proposed budget , we know there are 8 furlough days, 75 teaching and principal positions that could be cut, as well as 22 paraprofessional and 30 custodial jobs. The question many parents are now asking is how could these potential cuts effect their child's education?
"It's really terrible for education, and bad news for the quality of education that students will be receiving," said Tim Callahan with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). "It almost will automatically mean larger class sizes, which means it's harder for disciplinary management, and it's harder for individualized learning attention."
News Channel 6 went on to ask Callahan if he thinks there is any way that significant budget cuts, such as the one facing the RCBOE for 2013-2014, could be prevented in the future.
"What could have prevented it is a legislature here in Georgia, which would be stepping up to its obligations," said Tim Callahan, with the Professional Association of George Educators (PAGE)," said Callahan. "It wasn't that long ago that the funding of education was almost a 50/50 split between locals and state. And that state share has dropped down to about 37%, last time I looked, which means more of the burden has been shifted onto the local school districts, and it's unfair and it's unfortunate."
We have talked with several board members, and one tells us that he think a 9th furlough day could help eliminate the need for these extreme cuts. Others say they think the cuts may still be necessary. The called board meeting will be held tonight at 4pm at the Richmond County Board of Education on Broad Street.
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