The Jackson County School System is preparing to trim its work force next school year.
Superintendent Shannon Adams warned district employees last week of a “strong possibility” of reducing the workforce to meet the demands of a leaner budget.
“I deeply regret the fact that we are in the position of having to take such measures, but the challenges of the current financial situation are very real indeed,” Adams wrote in an e-mail to district employees.
And facing an uncertain financial outlook, the school system will delay rehiring teachers for next school year by a month.
The Georgia General Assembly announced Friday it will meet in late June to finalize the state budget. Adams said that will hamper the school system’s finances.
The school system must finalize its budget before the next fiscal year starts on July 1. The General Assembly typically ends its session in March or April, but has opted to complete its session in June — when the state may know how much of the federal stimulus bill is headed to Georgia.
“The best we can hope for is that we’ll know what the education cut will be, but I don’t think anything will be final until they adjourn,” said BOE chairperson Kathy Wilbanks.
While the schools are working to cut expenses, Adams said it’s obvious that the district will be forced to trim its work force for the 2009-2010 school year.
“There will be an official reduction of some certified personnel and there will be some reduction of positions of non-certified personnel,” Adams said Monday.
The system expects to have to trim $2.5 million to $4 million from the budget, he added.
“We’ll do it in such a way that will minimize the impact on the instruction program,” Adams said. “We’ll do it in a way that’s fair to the employees and the school system (and) to those who have proven themselves to be effective over a period of time.”
Wilbanks said there may also not be enough students in some classes for certified positions.
Welcome to the world of budgets. It hurts when you have to tighten the belt, but, as private industry AND private citizens have been doing for years, when money's tight, sacrifices have to be made. In industry, it is called "getting lean" and has been done by some of the worlds most successful companies. Afterwards, the companies are, generally, much better than before. I have no reason to think that the same wouldn't hold true for government schools.