State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox recently said that she expects to have to cut another $39 million from school funding before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2010, according to The Associated Press.
The Griffin-Spalding County School System currently has no plans to assign more furlough days to the 2009-2010 school year calendar, said Director of Human Resources Andrea Matthews.
However, she pointed out that the Georgia General Assembly will look at the issue in January, and as a result, could require school districts to make even more budget cuts.
“We do anticipate that, unless the revenues turn around miraculously, more budget cuts will come,” said Matthews.
To absorb such budget cuts, school system officials would either have to cut down on personnel costs, such as salaries and benefits, or reduce operating costs, such as utilities, textbooks, supplies and fuel, said Director of Finance Jim Smith.
“It’s going to be difficult to get any sizable cuts out of the operating budget,” said Smith. “The larger the (dollar amount to be saved), the more likely it is you have to get into personnel.”
Personnel costs account for about 86 percent of the total budget, which seems high but is not unusual for school districts, he said.
Further cuts in this area would not result in layoffs, because teachers are contracted, said Matthews.
While officials have brainstormed possible options on how to respond to more budget cuts, nothing is set in stone until they know the specific amount that would be withheld by the state, she said.
“We are going to wait until we see the actual number,” said Smith. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to find a way to balance the budget.”