Call it a miracle.
After many hours of work sessions, the McDuffie County School Board approved during their regular meeting Tuesday evening a tentative budget for the fiscal year 2010.
And it's more than $3 million lower than last year's budget.
"This board has met twice as many times to work on the budget this year as any boards have since I've been here," said Comptroller Tom Smalley. "In my 21 years of being a school system comptroller, this budget was the most difficult and most challenging I have ever done."
The $49,750,132 budget is shorter than the previous year's budget by $3,088,551, according to records submitted by Mr. Smalley.
"And they did it with no jobs lost, no millage rate increase and no fund balance decrease," Mr. Smalley said.
Although no employee lost their job, Mr. Smalley said everyone in the system will feel the cuts in some way. A meeting is scheduled Tuesday morning with all employees to explain the expense cuts.
"Tom has taken a drastic situation and made it into a positive situation," board member Dexter Lovins said.
Board member Bob Smith said he wanted to publicly thank Mr. Smalley, accountant Jay James and the entire finance department for creating a budget that would not cause any employee to be laid off, as has happened in other counties in Georgia.