School Budget Cuts

Local school systems could face serious budget problems. Some Georgia school districts are crunching numbers to make up for Gov. Perdue's proposed million dollar cuts in education.

"It's making us reevaluate all of our programs look at personnel and staffing. We don't have a lot of areas where we can afford to cut without being very diligent at looking at each area," Larry Green says.

Green says layoffs are the last resort. First he's looking at every area from school supplies to field trips to see where his school system can pick up where state funds may be lost.

"Right now some of our first grade classrooms have a ratio of 14 kids to one teacher and if we had to start cutting teachers and raising classroom sizes then many children will be lost and left behind," says Erin Wright.

Thomas County school board officials say there are few ways to generate revenue for schools and in the past officials have been generous by not raising local taxes, but this time they may not have a choice.

Green says there's already been a five percent cut in state funding, and he's not looking forward to continued cuts so soon, but he will be prepared.

"We just hope they look at education and the importance to our children and society and give us all the breaks they possibly can," says Green.

More than half of Georgia's 181 school districts face similar problems if these budget cuts are approved by the general assembly.