No class size increases, teacher furloughs next year in Gwinnett - CBS46 News

No increased class sizes or teacher furloughs next year in Gwinnett Co.

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After watching Gwinnett County Schools slash millions of dollars from their budget, parents are breathing a sigh of relief to hear lean times will not mean more cuts to their children's education.

For the first time in several years, Gwinnett County Schools will not have to cut teachers' pay or increase class sizes.

That is because of some tough financial choices the district made a few years ago and more funding from the state.

The district released its $1.7 billion budget for 2013-14 school year.

It is still lean, but at least it keeps many parents happy.

William Collins was relieved to hear more belt tightening will not hurt his daughter's education.

"I think it's great," Collins said. "Anything to keep my kids safe and keep getting a quality education is good news for us."

Collins, whose daughter is a fourth grader at Walnut Grove Elementary School in Suwanee, has seen teachers get their hours slashed and class sizes grow due to cutbacks.

Collins was gratified to learn the district would not layoff or furlough teachers, will not increase class sizes and will hire 18 more security officers for their schools.

"Happy to hear about it yeah," Collins said.

The district made drastic cuts to fill an $89-million budget hole for the current school year.

While the district still has a tight budget next year, it won't have to cover any gaps.

Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for the district, said the state will give the district an additional $21 million. She said the district also made some tough, but necessary financial choices.

"The things we've done over the past few years when we had dire financial issues have helped position us for this year," Roach said. "We're not hiring new people at the central office. Positions left vacant are continuing to be vacant. There won't be any step increases or cost of living raises," Roach said.

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