Cobb County School Board seeks budget deficit solution - FOX 32 News Chicago

Cobb County School Board seeks budget deficit solution

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Cobb County School Board members held a meeting on Wednesday to tackle an $86.4 million deficit for the next school year.

In the four-hour meeting, board members heard 13 recommendations on what to possibly cut in order to address the budget deficit.  

The options included teacher and staff furloughs, cutting 300 professional positions mostly through attrition as well as cuts in transportation services.

"We can commit that we won't have any teacher layoffs because our history of attrition, we need about 500 teachers every year. We're looking at reducing less than 300, so we think those numbers will work. We've made that commitment," said Cobb County Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

Cobb County Association of Educators President Connie Jackson said that kids should come first, even when there are budgetary restraints.  The Griffin Middle School teacher says that she hopes that Cobb County School Board members will look at things outside of the classroom to cut. She says that some of the options on the table would jeopardize the kids.

"Any time you that shorten the school year and you give teachers more burdens and you pay them less…they'll have to go out and get additional jobs. They'll going to have to find other ways to support their families," said Jackson.

Jackson said that teachers can accept furlough days, but don't want to give up raises.

"That's a seniority raise. That's something that we've earned. It's not a given for us. It's earned by the years that you've taught. And that's pretty significant," Jackson said.

Jackson also said that they have concerns about the proposed privatization of custodians.

"That's going to put people in our schools, around our children, around our classrooms that have not been vetted through our system," Jackson said.

Board members, apparently not happy with the recommendations, asked their administration to come back with new options.  Hinojosa said they hope to have  a solution by May.

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