Teachers concerned about budget shortfall - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Teachers concerned about budget shortfall

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Many are still in shock after the Richmond County School Board revealed an almost $23 million shortfall forcing cuts to nearly 75 teachers; a reality that hits close to home to those who are at risk.

"At this day and time, I think everyone should be worried about their jobs and their positions," said teacher Doris Good.  

Good is one of many teachers concerned about the future of Richmond County School System. A six to four vote at last week's board meeting passed the preliminary proposed budget.

"We've got to cut 150 positions which 75 of those would be teachers," said Finance Chairman Jack Padgett.  

"They are going to try create two positions; two human resource positions and purchase a computer system," said Good.  

The original proposal included four new positions and a costly program but Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson has since retracted those additions.

"We felt that we did not need to place programs over people," said Dr. Roberson.  

Saving the county almost a quarter of a million dollars, now only two positions will be created. One of which is a pre-kindergarten consultant that the state requires.

"It's a mandated position and of course some funding comes with that particular position so it won't all be general fund related," said Roberson.  

However, many fear how this will affect students. If teachers are being cut, that will mean increased totals to classroom sizes.

"Whenever they are cutting, they are cutting in the classroom and in the schools and that's where it makes the most impact," said Good.  

"This is where we are going to need the continuous help from the students and the parents to be considerate of the work that the teacher has to do," said Dr. Roberson.

The final meeting for the budget is scheduled for next Thursday at 4 p.m.  

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