-- Valdosta, Ga. -- May 16, 2012 --
There are 1,200 paid employees in the Valdosta City School System. Those employees will be forced to take four days off during the next academic year.
It's part of a new four-day work furlough plan. The goal is to cut a deficit of $5.4 million dollars. The lack of funds came about when the state decided to allocate the money to other areas.. Leaving it up to the city's schools to scrape together the cash.
Martin Roesch, the interim superintendent, said "each furlough day represents about $195,000 dollars of savings to us. So you're talking about almost $800,000 dollars worth of savings to the district."
The new school year will go from 190 days to 186 days for employees. No one will be paid during this time, but school staff say it could be worse.
Ladonna Peeples is a School Behavior Specialist. She said "I have friends in other counties who have had 10 to 15 days. So I'll take the four days and hopefully you know things will get better and we won't have to deal with this any more. But you know we all have a job. It's not as big a problem as it could have been."
Martin Roesch went on to say "people are willing to do this in order for us not to have to eliminate any positions."
There are 77 hundred students in the Valdosta City School System.