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No more furloughs are likely
District poised to absorb cost
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County school system is prepared to absorb at least three additional furlough days that may result from the ongoing state budget process.

Proposed adjustments to the state’s current budget, which are aimed at making up for revenue shortfalls, would require another three furlough days from school districts.

However, Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans said Monday that local officials “have not elected to pass along additional furlough days.”

“We value that instructional time that our teachers put forth in the classroom and think it will result into sustained academic achievement,” Evans said.

He said not filtering furlough days to staff would cost the system about $1.5 million.

West Forsyth High School teacher Edwin Wigley said he was bracing for the worst when he first learned about possible state cuts. He and wife Kathryn, who also works for the school system, “didn’t know what to expect.”

“I am without a doubt very grateful,” he said. “We’re both employed with Forsyth County Schools, so that’s six days of pay ... it would have been a big deal without a doubt.”

In a recent e-mail to staff, Evans said the decision “may change based on decisions from the Georgia legislature.”

“But with the information we have now, the system, with full support from the school board, and finance and human resources departments, does not plan on furloughing staff for the remainder of the 2009-10 school year,” he wrote.

The state’s supplemental budget, which is awaiting approval of the Senate, reflects a continuing slump in revenue.

Evans said he was appreciative that education priorities weren’t sliced as much as other areas of the budget. He also noted the conservative spending in local schools has helped ease the financial impact.

Wigley said the district’s gesture was about more than just pay.

“I have been teaching close to 30 years, so I have a good bit of experience with school systems ... and I just expected a district like Forsyth County to do the right thing as far as its employees,” he said.

“If there was any way not to have to do it, I felt like Forsyth County would do that.”