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Budget cuts could hit Franklin public schools hard

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated February 28, 2009

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— Franklin County Schools administrators and teachers say they worry about the effect "monumental" state budget cuts could have on the classroom.

"In 33 years, I've never seen anything to touch what we're going through now," teacher Cheryl DeMent said.

Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, said in January that during this General Assembly session, lawmakers would have to look at cutting education spending, which accounts for 60 percent of the state's budget. Analysts project a $2 billion shortfall for the state this fiscal year.

"That was monumental. That was not business as usual. That was something extraordinary," said Doug Moore, Franklin County Schools assistant superintendent for business and finance.

Franklin schools receive $48 million from the state. A 3 percent cut would reduce that by $1.5 million; 7 percent, by $3.5 million.

System administrators said cuts that deep would definitely have an impact on the classroom and on student services and might force job cuts.

"There's not enough to do all the things that we've always done," said Dr. Bert L'Homme, superintendent of Franklin County Schools.

State Department of Public Instruction officials say the actual amount of funding reductions would vary by district.

State officials said that some teachers could lose their jobs, a fear Franklin administrators also voiced.

"I don't think it's anything that we in Franklin County had really considered, so it's hit home in ways that it hadn't hit before," DeMent said.


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  • tobis19341 Feb 9, 2009

    why not get suspend ALL extracurricular activities for all schools except high school (usually they are need for college applications). that could save you all the money you need without sacrificing the education of the kids.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 9, 2009

    The State needs to get education down to 30 percent of the budget. And they need to do it quickly.

  • Mustange Feb 9, 2009

    Go ahead and contract out jobs and services hello labor Unions.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Feb 9, 2009

    I never thought for a minute that the lottery was primarily about money for education. It is what it is.....A Democrat passion for tax revenue created and pushed through in the middle of the night, with bought and paid for votes...without approval of the people. The "Education" lottery was simply a clever sales pitch.

  • celong Feb 9, 2009

    Lesley, the lottery money just replaced some of the money the state would have to put out. It never was "on top" to really help.

  • celong Feb 9, 2009

    Why not cut out middle school sports. I grew up fine when you played JV in 9th grade, then moved to varsity for the other years. Education is like all other professions and we know there is always fluff at the top. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Like, what is June doing????

  • sheila2 Feb 9, 2009

    I'm quite shocked to hear an administrator at any school mention the possibility of cutting teachers, before considering cutting administrative staff? In fact there are numerous positions in our county schools that other companies use contract services for. A good example is outsourcing payroll services, janitorial services, etc. in this way the school system would save some of these salaries as well as the extensive state benefits that school employees receive in addition to their base salaries. My children are both in high school, and I've heard them both mention the lack of services that the guidance counselors at their particular school provides. That may be an excellent place to start.

  • Lesley Feb 9, 2009

    I understand cuts, but what about the lottery money? Shouldn't that help lessen the pain of cuts? Just a thought...