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Board changes calendar

CONYERS -- Rockdale County Public Schools is changing at least one day in its 2009-10 school year calendar in anticipation of more state cuts.

Last week, school system officials warned that multiple furlough days were possible this school year.

During Thursday night's monthly meeting of the Rockdale County Board of Education, the school board approved the designation of Jan. 4, as a unpaid employee furlough day. Originally, the day was scheduled as a teacher workday.

RCPS Superintendent Samuel King made the recommendation to the board in anticipation of additional state cuts, he said.

RCPS Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis said that each furlough day saves approximately $496,000.

"We are paid monthly. The January furlough day will be taken out in February, unless we learn that there will be no additional state cuts," Davis said.

King said if additional state cuts are not implemented, the administration will add a June 3 workday to post-planning to recover the Jan. 4 furlough day.

In the recommendation, the board also approved the designation of March 18 and 19 and June 2 as potential employee furlough days if they are needed. Originally, March 18 was scheduled as an early release day and teacher workday, March 19 was a professional learning day and June 2 was part of post planning.

"(The suggested dates) are not instructional days, as students are not scheduled to attend school on these days," King said as his rationale for the recommendation. "The intent, if these additional days become necessary, is to minimize the impact on student instruction."

King said the dates are only potential furlough days.

"The final decision by the administration will be dependent upon the receipt of further information during this legislative session," he said.

Davis said he hopes the legislators and Gov. Sonny Perdue have approved a final budget by mid-February.

Already this school year, the school board had to change the system calendar when the state required teachers to take three furlough days -- one in July during preplanning and two in October -- to make up for state budget cuts.