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Monday, March 28, 2011

Proposals to Save Burke County Schools & Teachers Jobs

Here are two proposals made by two citizens of our Burke County community of how we can save both our schools and a majority of our teachers' jobs...

Proposal #1:
What it will take to fix this is
1) Teachers giving up their supplements for a year or two (saves $3 million per year)
2) Increase sales tax 1/2 of a cent (that means for every $100 you spend you will pay an extra 50 cents (generates a little over $2 million per year)
3) Make the county commissioners fully fund the school system and the state will kick in an extra $750,000 (county has underfunded $3 million per Stellar's own words so there's an addition $3.75 million)
4) Look at operating expenses at every school and find ways to cut where possible (RCES did this and found $200,000 in cuts to save, if all of the schools did only half as well we would save $2.4 million.
So let's see we have $3m for supplements and $2m for sales tax and $3.75m for fully finding the schools and possible $2.4 m in operating cuts county wide and you have just closed that budget gap $11.15 million dollars. By doing all of those things and maybe a little more we can save every school and just about every job.

Proposal #2:
Wilkes County is participating in what is called a “hybrid school” calendar with 162 days in class. It saved nearly $900,000.00 and avoided laying off certified teachers. They added 45 minutes to each school day to provide the required 1,000 hours of school in a year. They begin the day 15 minutes early and add 30 minutes to the end of the day. Breaks are given throughout the year that last from 1-2 weeks. They Begin August 16th and end the year May 21st. Wilkes is a smaller school system than Burke County and therefore, Burke could realize larger savings which would keep at least two schools open with teachers employed. You may view this at the following website: www.journalpatriot.com – searching the following article: “Shortfalls Mark 2010 for County”.
In Gaston County, they we able to raise $4 million for Smart Boards for every classroom by knocking on doors of churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals for donations and funding. Our Stake holders in Burke county could except the same challenge, given the chance.
I have found these findings in just a short time. I believe if given the chance, we as a community, as Stake Holders of Burke County, we could come up with a lot more ideas and SOLUTIONS for our money problems within our school system and it wouldn’t involve the County Commissioners help. Please make a decision you can live with tonight for years to come. Please save our schools from this decision, HELP US HELP YOU COME UP WITH A WAY TO SAVE OUR SCHOOLS!!!!

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