Clinton School District says they have no choice, but to furlough - - Jackson, MS

Clinton School District says they have no choice, but to furlough

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By Ashley Conroy

CLINTON, MS - (WLBT) - The Clinton School District announced they will have to issue three days of furloughs for each of the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years.

School officials have had to issue lay-offs to 43 employees including teachers this year because of budget reductions.

Assistant Superintendent, Tim Martin says it isn't the ideal situation, but hopes it will reduce the likelihood of additional lay-offs.

"Teachers will be, and all employees, myself included. Everyone in the district will take three days off next year basically without pay."

Martin says the district estimates it will save around $600 thousand dollars and could save dozens of teachers.

"If the average teachers salary is $50 thousand dollars that's roughly 12 teachers saved by using this mechanism."

The legislature approved these furlough days during session because of the strapped state budgets.

The Mississippi Adequate Education Program's (MAEP) overall budget has decreased about $140 million dollars since 2008.  

The 2011 budget is estimated to be around $2.11 billion dollars.

House Education Chair Cecil Brown (D-Jackson) says there is only so much the state can do because of the down economy.

"We've gone through a big recession. There's not enough money to do everything we need to do. And so we're going to have to tighten our belts, and we're all going to suffer a little bit for awhile."

Chairman Brown hopes approving all districts throughout the state to issue furloughs will help stave off future lay-offs.

"They did have to have some flexibility or in many instances school districts are literally not going to have any money to make it through the year."

Meantime, lawmakers approved a $5.5 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2011.

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