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Schools face more furloughs
State trims funding again
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Education cuts announced last week by Gov. Sonny Perdue mean Dawson County school employees will have three furlough days for the second half of the academic year.

  

There will also be a 1-percent reduction in state education dollars, and that's in addition to 3-percent cuts announced at the beginning of the school year.

  

Cuts to the budget also mean a reduction in dollars for school grants, including the school nurse program.

  

Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter said over the next several days, staff will determine “how many actual dollars in cuts to revenue there will be. When we determine that, we'll be able to discuss ... whether we have additional reductions in the school calendar.”

  

The state asked for three furlough days at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year as well.

  

Porter said it's been a challenging year, because of the timing of state cuts.

  

“It's really difficult, due to the fact that these cuts are occurring after our budget was already approved,” Porter said. “Over the next few months, we're going to be looking really closely at our 2011 budget, and hopefully we'll get information much sooner than this year.”

  

To keep the state in the black, Perdue’s spending plan calls for whole programs to be scrapped, including a $12 million initiative to help local school systems improve their teaching programs as well as the $200,000 Vidalia Onion Research Project. Job layoffs are sprinkled throughout the budget.

  

Perdue cut another $1.2 billion from the $18.6 billion spending plan for the current fiscal year. Tax revenues are lagging about 14 percent behind what they had been the previous year.

  

DCN Regional Staff Writers Ashley Fielding and Jessica Jordan contributed to this report.

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