Tifton Gazette


March 6, 2014

No furlough day for teachers

TIFTON — Local teachers will not be furloughed for the day they missed in January when freezing temperatures caused Tift County schools to close.

Superintendent Patrick Atwater informed Tift County Board of Education members during Tuesday night’s work session that the state board of education did approve a waiver for school systems not to make up the instructional days lost due to inclement weather.

His recommendation, which will be made at the next regular board meeting, is to not make up the instructional day that staff did not work and allow them to make up hours as needed at the school level. They will work this out individually.

Board member Rita Griffin, who had told Atwater at last month’s work session that she was not in favor of another furlough day, thanked him for allowing staff to make up the hours. In return, Atwater thanked the board for supporting it.

Also, the 2014-15 school calendar was briefly discussed. At last month’s work session, Atwater told the board that a calendar had already been formulated with 190 days for teachers and 180 days for students. He had noted that there are a lot of things still left out there to be considered for a calendar that have not yet been finalized. The current draft includes a week off in November for Thanksgiving (Nov. 24-28), and pre-planning for the school year would start July 29-31 and Aug. 1 with the first day of school starting Aug. 4.

Board member Marian Richbourg was concerned about the early start day for staff on July 29. She asked Atwater, “Would they rather come the week of Thanksgiving more or start back a little bit later?”

Atwater said a week off in Thanksgiving would be better received.

“That week of Thanksgiving is probably the most welcomed breaks that they receive, if not more so than Christmas break,” he commented.

However, the calendar has not been approved yet, which could possibly include options such as furlough days or fewer instructional days in order to balance the budget.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.


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