School system discusses budget cuts

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah Chatham County Public School system is facing more budgetary concerns. On Wednesday, they discussed these issues at their board meeting and believe more drastic cost-cutting measures could be in store throughout the school system.

This is the second year in a row for these issues, one day short of exactly a year since significant budget cuts were discussed, the school board is once again addressing that subject, projecting an expected $13 million shortfall for the 2011-2012 schools year and that could lead to the elimination of as many as 110 teaching positions.

These are only estimates at this time, but the school board is expecting less local, state and federal revenue next year as well as a reduction in stimulus money.

So in their regular meeting, they were preparing to suggest substantial cuts. In addition, they're expecting to increase class size by one or two students and introduce furloughs for all school system employees.

There was debate about these proposals earlier among the board members but right now, they are holding an open, public meeting and Larry Johnson, Director of the school system's Budget Services, is expecting reaction to be even more volatile.

"There will also be a proposal once again to eliminate the fifth-grade band program, that has been controversial in the past. All of the cost-cutting measures are sure to create controversy here this afternoon when the pulic gets to voice its concerns," said Johnson.

The most disturbing information that might have come out of session is the board seemed to agree that 2012 will probably not be the last year the school system faces these difficult budgetary issues.

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