Chattahoochee County: A school year without furlough days - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Chattahoochee County: A school year without furlough days

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

Schools across Georgia and Alabama have faced hard times this year with budget cuts, furlough days, and cutting jobs.

One local school system understands those battles, but this year, officials in Chattahoochee County say they overcame budget challenges.

During Thursday night's called meeting, the Chattahoochee County school board approved a $10.1 million balanced budget for the 2012-2013 school year.

The board did not have to cut any school days from the calendar, were not forced to raise property taxes, and for the first time since 2009, there are no furlough days.

Superintendent Jimmy Martin says they were able to accomplish this with cuts from state funding.

"We're sitting right now at about $872 thousand in cuts. That is money our school system has earned that we're not getting," said Martin.

Martin says just five years ago the school system could not balance their budget. So they started counting pennies, cutting down on expenses for field trips, custodial supplies, non-regional sporting events, and more.

"Our teachers actually when they go through and start doing the requisitions and things for request, they will go through themselves and try to do some things to try to get I guess what you say, the biggest bang for the buck," said Martin.

With many school districts across the country, cutting jobs and adding furlough days, school board Chair Fred Davis says he is proud of the district's hard work.

"It is a pretty big deal. We are one of a very few counties that do not have furlough days, and it is due to the diligence of our superintendent and our book keeping staff. They've worked it all out so the teachers don't have to take any days," said Davis.

Martin says this was a team effort, and now, their focus can turn to getting ready for a new school year in just a few weeks.

"It takes a group effort to make this happen. It doesn't happen just from the superintendent's office and the board of education. It takes everybody," said Martin.

Students in Chattahoochee County will head back to class on August 7th.

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