Incorrect enrollment projections, decreased revenue, and tax collection errors officials say that’s what saddled the Franklin County School district’s with half a million dollars of debt. And now the school board is now asking teachers to take pay cuts to make up some of the money.
According to teachers union officials, the Franklin County school board is floating a number of plans to get the district out of debt – like decreased benefits, adding furlough days, and implementing across the board pay cuts ranging from 10% to almost 20%. Franklin County teacher's union President, Kathy Wood, said while she understands the need for a balanced budget, its not teacher’s debt to pay.
“But, we’re not willing to have the budget balanced on the backs of our staff. The employees did not create this problem, and should not be forced to fix the problem because of some body else’s blunders,” Wood said.
The teacher’s union suggests solutions like a shorter school year, state funding, and loan modifications with banks to bridge the gap instead. Franklin County Superintendent Nina Marks could not be reached for comment, nor would her office comment on the ongoing negotiations.