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Superintendent to announce tentative cuts Monday
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Newton County School Superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews is set to release a list of tentative cuts to the 2011-2012 budget at 5 p.m. Monday afternoon. With the Newton County School System facing at least $9 million in budget reductions for the 2011-2012 school year, it is inevitable that cuts will have to be made and Mathews has warned that more may be necessary.

Mathews has been vocal about his concerns for the school system and the necessity of further cuts, including some to personnel, which, along with health insurance, is more than 87 percent of the system's budget.

According to a timeline released by Mathews, the board plans to allow each school council to provide budget reduction input, which will be shared with principals at a called meeting on Jan. 10. Principals will then meet with their school councils to go over budget reduction possibilities further. A public forum will be held on Jan. 13 to gain input from the community on budget reductions.

Mathews said that he hoped to give board members a proposed list of cuts in February or March for the board to consider until April. The board is scheduled to approve a tentative budget in May and vote in June.

"Some of the items found on the list are certainly more palatable than others," warned Mathews. "Yet, they are still things we would not seek if we were not in a "must do" situation... We will need real feedback and real possibilities. We will not float items just to gain public attention or to rally the troops, so to speak."