Teachers and Taylor County residents are watching the reality of tough economic times hit close to home. And they're trying to find alternatives to making teachers take five days of unpaid leave over the next several weeks.
Paul Dyal, Taylor County Schools Superintendent said, "By law, we've got to finish with a balanced budget and we're looking for areas where we can cut or how we can make up those moneys--so tonight is really just an information session."
The district is left with a 770-thousand dollar deficit and the teachers' time off could recover about 380-thousand dollars of that. School officials say the deficit is from budget cuts and a student population decline. And while teachers agree they need the money--many do not want to see their fellow staff members lose their job.
Kay Cantrell, a second grade teacher at Perry Primary School said, "The opinions that I'm hearing in the hallways are, no we don't want to loose a day's pay, but if we can save one job--it's worth the cut."
The next step for board members is to meet with the teachers' unions to resolve the matter, but time is short. School Board members and teachers will have to come up with a resolution by Monday. If they decide to take the five days of unpaid leave any later than that--teachers could have to take at least two of the days in the same pay period. The Taylor County School Board already has plans to negotiate an agreement with teachers before the end of the week.