Cobb County schools eye teacher furloughs - CBS46 News

Cobb County schools eye teacher furloughs

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MARIETTA, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The Cobb County Board of Education is considering another round of budget cuts to offset an $86 million shortfall for the next school year.

The school has proposed freezing teacher salaries and giving them unpaid days off as the district struggles to balance its budget.

The district also would cut up to 300 jobs by eliminating vacant positions and attrition.

This would be the fifth consecutive year Cobb County schools have had to tighten their belts.

Parents worried more cuts could hurt their children's education.

Katherine Youngblood, who has four grandchildren enrolled in Cobb County schools, said she is tired of seeing year after year of cutbacks.

"That's not right to take those five days away from those teachers," Youngblood said. "Our teachers help our kids."

 Teachers have come to expect some furlough days given the tough economic times.

Connie Jackson, president of the Cobb County Teachers Association, hoped the district would give teachers three unpaid days off instead of five.

"It's going to impact our children. When you shorten school year and take five days and take away step raises, if a teacher has to take another job to make ends meet, she can't devote that time to the classroom," Jackson said.

The district last year had a $62 million deficit, but Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the board found $10 million in unspent money, allowing it to hire 30 additional teachers.

CBS Atlanta asked Hinojosa if the district would have been better off holding onto that money.

"It was the best decision," Hinojosa said. "We had to hire additional teachers because we had more students than projected."

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