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School board approves personnel cuts
Measure will save system $4.2 million
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The Newton County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve personnel cuts in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget that will reportedly save the school system $4.2 million, but will cut an unknown number of jobs.

According to Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration, the school system will be releasing more information late this afternoon after school officials have met with staff members who may be affected by the cuts.

The decision came after a recommendation from Superintendant Dr. Steven Whatley, which acknowledged the economic issues facing not only the Newton County school system but also the state and the entire country as well.

"A review of the FY ’10 budget status from the standpoint of projected state and local revenues and expenditures necessitates proactive personnel related reductions in expenditures along with other cost cutting measures to help offset the revenue shortfalls anticipated by June 30, 2010 and June 30, 2011."

The recommendation states that system officials had been looking at program classifications and positions in order to determine the "most responsible financial means, by which services can be provided, yet trying to bring about additional savings to the system."

Though the identifying factors have not been released and will not be until later this evening, system officials did say cuts would be made to both system and school level positions, both certified and classified. Some work days will also be reduced as well.

According to Robertson these cuts may be the first round for the school system.

"We don’t know what the state dollars are going to be for 2010 yet. It’s tough trying to pinpoint right now," she said during the school board’s meeting Tuesday night.

"We are very concerned that we have to do this," Whatley said. "It’s not something that we enjoy doing, but it is only fair to let our employees know up front what our plans are."