Walker County Lays-Off Teachers

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 7/26/2013 6:17 pm
NORTH GEORGIA (WDEF) - How much longer can north Georgia schools go without a tax increase?
Fewer state dollars and increasing staff cuts are forcing Catoosa and Dade Counties to look at raising taxes.
That's while Walker county announces the layoff of 28 teachers.
Ten years ago the state of Georgia began taking steps to get out of the red, and it has met with some success, but at what cost?
The county school systems are scurrying to make up for some 5-billion dollars no longer flowing into the classrooms.
After cutting programs and scheduling furloughs, Walker county announced today that it will layoff 28 teachers and 24 support personnel before the fall semester begins. The district last year fired 50 employees in order to stay within budget.
School offices were closed today, but Walker County's top political figure says fiscal problems are wide-spread in the state.

BEBE HEISKELL, WALKER CO. COMMISSIONER "Well, I hate to see anybody lose their job...but I understand the school systems are having a hard time. The state has cut back their funding over a period of several years now, and Mr. Raines is a fairly new superintendent ..And I'm sure he's just doing what he thinks is in the best interest of the school system and the community and the citizens who also pay taxes."

While Walker county has avoided a tax increase, at least for now, Catoosa county schools are planning to ask for a 1.95 mill tax increase this year.
In Dade county, the request will be about 1.25 mills.
No one governmental agency wants to increase taxes, but many north Georgia parents know its inevitable.

PASTOR CHRIS EAVES, TWO STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS "I understand that budgets are important. Whether its in business, non-profits like a church or whether its in government. Budgets are very important..when you're talking about cutting teachers , cutting funding..some difficult decisions need to be made."

Chris Eaves pastors the Del Ray Baptist Church in Catoosa county.
More information of the latest round of lay-offs is expected on Monday.


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