JEFFERSON — State budget cuts continue to hit home in Jefferson and have led to the cancellation of an annual event breakfast held by the Jefferson City School System.
The annual community event allowed school staff to discuss upcoming projects, accomplishments and other topics of interest. But budget cuts and mandated furlough days led the system to skip the event, which was set for Wednesday.
"The cancellation of the community breakfast will provide some savings to the system," said Donna McMullan, associate superintendent of Jefferson City schools.
However, equally important is that it will provide increased time for teachers to prepare for the start of the new year."
Earlier this week, Gov. Sonny Perdue mandated that Georgia’s 128,000 educators must take three unpaid days off in the coming school year. The furlough days for teachers are expected to save the state around $99 million.
Perdue also announced an additional 3 percent cut to education funding. The moves are expected to help the state reduce its $900 million budget shortfall.
"At a time when Georgia’s schools are performing better on statewide and federal tests, we question the governor’s wisdom in his decision to furlough teachers," said Verdaillia Turner, president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, in a prepared statement.
"The millions of dollars allocated for programs such as the ‘Go Fishing’ project and the hundreds of millions of dollars afforded to corporations in tax breaks would be better spent on Georgia’s future, our children."
Education isn’t the only state department affected. Perdue has also required that other state employees also take three furlough days and has cut 5 percent of funding from other agencies.
To accommodate the furloughs, Jefferson schools will cut back on required teacher-only work days. Instead of having five pre-planning days next week prior to school opening Aug. 3, teachers will have three. The third furlough day for teachers will come in October.