Another teacher furlough day was added last week to the Columbia County school calendar.
All Columbia County schools and the central office will be closed Feb. 12, the school board decided during a Wednesday meeting.
Though Gov. Sonny Perdue called for school systems to furlough teachers for three days, school officials decided to cover the $1.2 million cost to keep teachers working on two of those days.
"We just don't need to hit them with three days," Superintendent Charles Nagle told the school board. "I think we're fortunate enough to get away with that."
The closure will save about $600,000.
Perdue can't legally dictate to local school systems that they furlough teachers. However, the governor can deny school systems the state funding to pay salaries for those days.
School officials intend to make up some of the lost salary by redistributing overestimated funds for software upgrades and salary projections. The remainder of the funding might have to come out of next school year's general fund, Nagle said.
"We need to try to keep our part of the bargain, whether the state can or not," he said.
Perdue also denied school systems the funding for three days of teacher pay during the previous school semester. Again, Columbia County school officials only used one furlough day and cut other portions of their budget to keep teachers working.
In the latest round of proposed state budget cuts, Columbia County might lose up to $2.2 million. Before the new round of budget cuts announced last week by Perdue, Columbia County already had lost about $13.8 million in state funding.
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