COVINGTON The Newton County Board of Education approved a calendar with six furlough days for teachers next school year.
During its monthly work session Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a recommendation by Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews for a calendar with 178 student days and 184 teacher days.
A full school year is considered 180 student days and 190 teacher days.
This school year, staff also are experiencing four furlough days. Originally, they were scheduled to have six furlough days, but some found revenues helped offset two days that board members added back earlier this school year.
Board members said this week that they hope to revisit the calendar later this year after they learn more about state revenues and expenditures.
"It will be revisited according to how the budget goes," said board member Almond Turner on Wednesday. "Everybody wants to do everything we can for the employees."
Fellow member Abigail Coggin said she hopes they can add some days back if they know more about state funding by the end of the fiscal year in June.
Each furlough day saves about $440,000, school officials have said.
Mathews told school board members last month that the furlough days would help offset expected state health benefit plan increases in employer health insurance premiums that could cost NCSS more than $1 million next school and another $1 million the following school year.
The calendar has students attend school from Friday, Aug. 3 through Friday, May 24.
Students would get a fall break from Sept. 24 through 28, a full-week Thanksgiving break from Nov. 19 through 23, a semester break from Dec. 21 through Jan. 3, a winter break from Feb. 18 through 22 and a spring break from April 1 through 5. Several early release and one-day holidays also are included in the calendar.
The school board was presented with two options from a calendar committee. The other option included 180 student days and 186 teacher days.
The options were developed using a committee led by Dr. Shelia Thomas, director of Federal Programs at NCSS, and made up of a representative from each school, along with school- and district-level administrators. They were told to create two calendars: one with 178 student days and 184 teacher days and another one with 180 student days and 186 teacher days.