Cook County Teachers May Face Furloughs

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- Cook Co., Ga. - May 10, 2012 -

Hundreds of educators could be facing furlough days in Cook County, Georgia and other teachers may lose their jobs.

The Cook County School System is facing a $472,352 deficit. Superintendent Lance Heard tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that the only way out may be to initiate system-wide furlough days and cutting jobs.

"We've done everything we can to maintain the level of education for the students that we've always had and we think we've been able to do that," said Superintendent Heard.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but 488 teachers, staff and administrators, may be facing furlough days next school year. Superintendent Heard hopes to limit them to three to five per employee.

"I would like to say also that when we do take furlough days, they are always none instructional days. The students do not miss any school," said Superintendent Heard.

Additionally, five part-time teachers could be let go. And an opening for a full-time special education teacher just won't be filled.

Add it all up and it saves the school system between $250,000 and $420,000.

"But if they're going to cut it again it would be quite a bit of education that's lost," said concerned parent Mandi Sellars.

"But the future of our whole country, our towns, our counties, everything depends on how we educate our children," said concerned parent Georgia Powell.

The Cook County School Board is going to be voting on what needs to be done in the next few weeks. Either late this month or early next month.

Cook County Schools has had furlough days the past four years in a row.