Monday night, 500 parents, students, and teachers protested many of the proposed budget cuts created by Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley in order to offset an estimated $49 million deficit over the next two years. One suggestion included cutting 37 days off the school year and making the school day two hours longer, which our Board of Education rejected.
“I am concerned about students being able to be actively involved in learning for two hours longer each day,” adds BOE Chairperson Pam Anderson. “I understand that such a move would save the district money, but I must have assurance that student achievement will not decline. We also will have to consider the effect such a move will have on after-school activities.”
According to the News-Daily, the list of cuts include: Reducing consultative teachers by 46 positions ($6 million); delaying textbook purchases in fiscal year 2012 ($2.8 million); reducing utility costs ($2.7 million); switching to a virtual alternative education program ($2.6 million); cutting 12 high school assistant principal positions ($2.3 million); eliminating school shuttle bus services in the district ($1.9 million); cutting eight coordinator positions ($1.9 million); eliminating the elementary school In-School Suspension program ($1.6 million); cutting six middle school assistant principal positions ($1.1 million), and reducing the school system’s transportation department budget by $1 million.
One cut many will approve of is CCPS no longer holding its high school graduation ceremonies outside of Clayton County. This has been a sore spot with many residents over the years, who preferred to see the money paid to outside facilities stay in county coffers.
Another public hearing will be held before the BOE approves a new budget at the end of June.
Your thoughts? Click here to view the Superintendent’s Budget Recommendations.