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Long BoE braces for state cuts

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POSTED: February 13, 2009 10:59 a.m.
Photo by Mike Riddle/

Board members discuss an issue at the meeting.

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LUDOWICI — The Long County Board of Education discussed the possibility of losing a lot of state dollars for the 2009-10 year at their Feb. 9 meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said the school system could lose as much as $1.7 million if House Bill 279 is approved by the legislature and then signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Waters said the bill is being pushed by Perdue.
“It could be devastating to Long County schools,” he said.
According to BoE Finance Director Bridget Welch, all counties in the state would be affected by the measure, but Long County will especially be hit hard. She said the county would be hit hard because Long is ranked 177th out of 180 or the fourth poorest, based on accessed valuation per student.
Welch said the bill would cut equalization grant money.
The current millage rate for county schools is 9.852. The board would have to increase that to 18 to make up $1.7 million, he estimated. This estimate is based on meeting the current expected budget for 2009-10, prior to any changes or cuts.
According to Waters, HB 279 is still in the early stages, and it has met opposition throughout the state, but said he wanted to warn board members.
In other business, the BoE:
• Approved the facility plan resolution, for a new high school, to be turned in to the Georgia State Board of Education for review.  This approval is necessary for the system to be eligible for funding through the state.
• Approved researching the costs for a new PA system in the high school gym.
• Approved adding a bus route in the Rye Patch area to accommodate growth.
 

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