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Our thoughts... Ugly task at hand
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   Superintendent of the Newton County School System, Dr. Steve Whatley, is retiring at the end of this school year.

 Unfortunately for him he is not going to be able to go peacefully into that good night.

  The Newton County School System is facing a $9.7 million shortfall.

 It’s going to take more than not filling a few positions or cutting a few marginal employees to achieve a balanced budget.

 From the reports we have seen, at least two-thirds of the cuts will come from personnel — including teachers.

 The cuts will be made immediately, although they would not take effect until 2011.

 It is the right thing to do for Whatley to trim the budget now because by doing so, it will allow the new superintendant, Dr. Gary Mathews, to come in and work on developing programs that will ensure our children’s educational success without having the dark cloud of cutting jobs over his head.

 We don’t envy Whatley or his staff for having to make these decisions, but the cuts need to be made. The majority of Newton County citizens cannot afford a tax increase at this time.