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Furlough Relief in Vidalia City Schools
Monday, 31 March 2014

March 31--  After five years of pay cuts due to furlough days, employees of the Vidalia city school system can look forward to what amounts to a pay raise next school year.

School Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox says the school board approved next year's school calendar with school starting on Wednesday, August 6.

"The state found a way to restore some of the austerity cuts we've been dealing with since 2003 and we're excited to be back with 180 days of instruction for our kids here in Vidalia.

"The state returned about 30% of what they deem austerity reductions.  It's money we've earned but has been withheld because of state finances over the course of the last few years.  We're excited to be in a position where we can get back to 180 days of instruction and won't have to furlough next year," he said.

Dr. Wilcox says the infusion of about $500,000 in state funding restores salaries to employees who been hard hit over the last few years.

"This is the fifth year and it actually equates to 44 furlough days over the past five years.  I really appreciate the attitude of the staff for continuing to do what we have to do for the kids in the classroom and not letting the furloughs override attitude and emotions," he stated.

The Vidalia school system is prohibited by its charter from raising local school taxes above 15 mils which means state funding cuts leave the school system with no options but to cut school days and school programs.

"I feel like, being at 15 mils, which is a little higher than most systems around us, that our citizens have contributed for years.  I don't it would be fair to ask them to do any more than they already are.  We just hope the state upholds its end of the bargain as we continue to move forward," the superintendent noted.


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