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Warren County Board of Education to discuss budget cuts

WARRENTON, Ga. -- The Warren County Board of Education met in a called meeting Monday night to deal with more than $300,000 in budget cuts.

The board met for more than an hour and a half in executive session to discuss reducing personnel at the schools in order to make budget this school year.

Superintendent Carol Jean Carey said the meeting was called because there was a big difference in the state and federal Title I, special education and stimulus allocations that were allotted to the system in July.

Ms. Carey said the system based its current budget on the allotted amount, and now that money is not going to be coming to the schools.  

About 10 days ago, Ms. Carey asked the three school principals to rework their education plans so they could cover all of their programs with less staff.

In all, Warren County will have to reduce seven support staff positions.

Three of those positions will come from Warren County Middle-High School and four from M.E. Freeman Elementary School. Those staff members cut are secretaries and paraprofessionals.

The principals looked at all of the work that needed to be covered and then made their selections of personnel who could best fill the duties -- many of which require employees to multi-task and have more than one area of expertise. The principals made those recommendations to Ms. Carey who, in turn, presented them to the board.  

After the executive session, the board announced that seven positions would be cut effective the end of this month. Those employees, they said, would be the first hired if more money comes in from the state.

Ms. Carey said that the system is expecting more than $600,000 in charter system funds that they have been waiting on for months. She is also anticipating 21st Century grant funds to come in. Some of that money can be used for personnel and when it comes in, those let go will be rehired.

"This board, the superintendent and the principals feel horrible about having to let some of our valued employees go. Without the promised state and federal funds, we simply do not have the local money on hand to cover those positions," the superintendent said.

The board also approved a new school calendar last night, one that has six furlough days -- three more than the system had earlier approved. Ms. Carey said having the other three days off will help to reduce the deficit even further.

For the 2009-2010 school year, Warren County's 190-day workers, which includes teachers, will have the following furlough days: half days on Aug. 7, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 18, and March 12; and full furlough days on Jan. 4 and May 25 and 26.

The new revised calendar is available on the system's Web site,

Web posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

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