Fayette BOE to employees: no more furlough days this year

It took little discussion Tuesday night for the Fayette County Board of Education (BOE) to vote unanimously to forego imposing any additional furlough days on school system employees for the duration of the school year that ends June 30.

The board agreed with the recommendation of Superintendent John DeCotis in not imposing the furlough days even if state funding is cut.

DeCotis said his recommendation was based on the hard work by school system staff, adding that there is still no word on what the Georgia General Assembly might do about withholding funds that would otherwise lead to furlough days being imposed in many school systems.

Board member Bob Todd before the vote gave his rationale for holding off on additional furlough days.

“I think we’ve done all we need to do to the employees. So I don’t want anymore furlough days,” Todd said.

Board Chair Terri Smith agreed, saying she did not know how in good conscience the board could impose any additional days.

As for the Fayette County BOE, board members were willing to absorb this year’s furlough days and take there chances next year. The decision came after DeCotis earlier in the meeting said the shortfall beginning July 1 could amount to as much as $17 million. Absorbing the likely cuts by the general assembly will leave the school system with an estimated fund balance of nearly $15 million on June 30.

“We want to work through the budget and see how much we can reduce,” DeCotis said of the budget preparation that is already underway.