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BOE won't cut down on staff

CONYERS - Employees in Rockdale County Public Schools don't yet have to worry about administrative furloughs and a reduction of paraprofessionals this school year.

The Rockdale County Board of Education unanimously approved during Thursday's monthly meeting a recommendation from RCPS Superintendent Samuel King that included an adjustment in the 2008-09 school year budget, but it doesn't include administrative furloughs or a reduction in paraprofessionals.

"This will allow us to continue this school year with our current status and no impact on personnel," King said at the meeting.

RCPS officials came to the board earlier this month with a request to adjust this school year's $131 million budget in order to prevent a possible $6 million revenue shortfall due to recent state budget cuts and decreasing local tax revenue. One option included paraprofessional reductions and administrative furloughs, while the other option did not.

The option approved by the school board includes include a 5 percent budget freeze to save $421,000, teacher abeyance for $275,000, cancellation of a board leadership retreat for $40,000, the reclassification of the purchasing director for $12,000 and reorganization of the department of teaching and learning for $69,500, which will reassign two keyboarding paraprofessionals and leave two vacation departmental positions open. It also includes a $270,300 reduction in state health employer contribution, which does not affect employees.

In order to make up for the other estimated $4 million potential deficit, officials would take from the ending year fund balance of more than $17 million.

While the staff cuts aren't likely to take place this school year, a staff reduction is an option for next school year's budget. School system officials are reviewing departmental budgets and already working up plans for the 2009-10 school year budget, school system officials said Thursday.