Muscogee County School District Budget Woes

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It was a night of harsh decisions for the Muscogee County School Board Monday night. Most of those decisions dealt with job reductions and budgetary issues. Starting with eliminating 21 kindergarten thru - third grade paraprofessional positions.

Board members say there's no money in the 2010 budget to pay the salaries. But because of retirements and resignations they may have to let only six para-pros go.

"That's based on what we know now based on the budget, and again we're hoping to free up some of those positions through attrition and if that happens great, and if not, we'll have to take a longer and harder look at what we need to do across the district," says District Spokesperson Valerie Fuller.

Also the proposed budget will be reducing magnet funding across the district. As a result, two magnet clerk positions will be eliminated. "We want to reduce these things to attrition, we don't want to let anybody go so I'm looking for them to be picked up somewhere else in the district.", says school board member, John Wells.

And if that wasn't enough the 21st Century Grants five year span will end June 30th 2009. This of course impacts all programs and positions funded by this grant. Because of this, 13-fulltime positions and year-to-year part-time positions funded in this years budget will not be funded in 2010.

"It's never easy when you're looking at reducing budgets. It's personnel and it's affecting a lot other districts across the state as well as across the nation,"says Director of Secondary Education, Keith Seifert.

Other items the board approved Monday night was for Britt David Magnet Academy to implement a uniform dress code.

And to allow New Horizons to implement an abstinence program at some local high schools. |

As required under O.C.G.A §48-5-32.1, the Muscogee County Board of Education will conduct a series of public hearings. All concerned citizens are invited to this second of three public hearings to be held in the conference room at the former Bradley Library, 1120 Bradley Drive.

The following dates and times have been scheduled:

1st Public Hearing - Monday, May 11, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

2nd Public Hearing - Monday, May 18, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

(Millage Rate) 3rd Public Hearing - Monday, June 1, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

Public Hearing on Budget and Millage Rate - Monday, June 8, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

Adopt Resolution setting millage rate and Final Adoption of 2010 Budget - Monday, June 15, 2009, 6:30 p.m.