Cobb County School Board approves tentative budget - FOX 32 News Chicago

Cobb County School Board approves tentative budget

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Facing an $86.4 million deficit, the Cobb County School Board gave tentative approval to a new budget on Monday.
The plan includes five furlough days for teacher and staff and the elimination of 182 teaching positions through attrition.

The reductions are not as severe as initially proposed.

Teachers and parents have watched the budget talks closely.

"The not knowing, the being worried if your position will be cut, if your school is going to change -- at least having a tentative budget will give the option to exhale and see what is going to happen," said Connie Jackson with the Cobb County Association of Educators in an April 3 interview.

The plan also calls for increasing class sizes by one student in middle and high schools.

Some board members warned that the district had not done enough to find other long-term spending reductions.

"We can't continue to stuff children into a classroom and expect real instruction to take place first of all. Secondly,  we cannot continue to do what we have been doing to our teachers," said Kathleen Angelucci of the Cobb County School Board.

Even with the cutbacks, the school system will need to take money from its reserve fund, and another budget shortfall looms for next year.

I just didn't want to be here again next year with this $80 million deficit, and if we adopt this budget, we are going to be close to that.  That's what we were trying to avoid by doing to some other things to try to avoid being in the same situation next year," said Cobb County School Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

Monday's approval will lead to a public hearing next month, followed by a final school board vote.

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