An additional three percent cut in state Quality Basic Education (QBE) funds top off the proposed furloughs the Haralson County and Bremen City Schools Systems have approved.
Haralson County Schools Public Information Officer Kersha Cartwright said they provided an online survey on the system’s Web site that helped steer their decision.
“We did a furlough opinion survey for our faculty, and 41 percent of them approved the option we took,” she said.
Yesterday marked the first furlough day for teachers, which was originally designated as the first day of planning for the new year. The other two will be held in early October and December right before winter vacation starts.
Cartwright also addressed a 3 percent cut in QBE funding she called a “huge concern” for the system. She added they’re already receiving budget delays due to several factors. However, the recent cut of $497,000 has created another issue to tackle, which may inevitably lead to staff reductions or adjustments in services.
Bremen Schools Assistant Superintendent Janis Parrish cited a similar plan for furlough days, though she noted the system is still in decent financial standing after the budget cuts.
“According to the state calculations, the estimated 3 percent budget reduction and QBE funds was $260,374,” she said. “But due to the furlough, it’s $136,493. One pre-planning day will be used as a furlough day, and then we’ll use a half-day during professional learning day, which will permit an early dismissal for employees. Then, we’ll designate another half-day in February,” she explained.
Parrish said the last furlough day is issued for Tuesday, Jan. 5, after the system’s winter vacation.
She assures the furlough days the school board reserved will not interrupt instruction at the schools. She said a revised 2009-10 calendar reflecting the furlough days was approved at a recent board meeting.
In other business, Parrish noted the school board also approved the hiring of a remedial reading teacher at Bremen Middle School. She noted the position will be funded through Title I funds allotted for special needs programs.
A full-time substitute was also appointed for BMS and Bremen Academy.
Haralson County schools officials confirmed a public meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, to discuss the budget and millage rate for the upcoming year. The school board will then adopt a budget and millage rate at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, at board meeting that will be held at the Haralson County Board of Education Office in Buchanan.