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Rockingham County Schools Prepare for 5-10 Percent Budget Cuts | News

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Rockingham County Schools Prepare for 5-10 Percent Budget Cuts
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School Superintendent Dr. Rodney Shotwell said next year's budget cuts could be the worst since the Great Depression.

Rockingham County Schools officials are conducting a work session Tuesday night to determine how to best handle possible cuts fron the state.

Administrators have been told to brace for cuts between 5 percent and 10 percent for next school year. In real numbers, that translates to between $4.9 million and $7.5 million.

On paper, a 10 percent budget cut could result in the loss of 193 positions, including 49 teachers and 103 teacher assistants. However, Shotwell said he is optimistic he will not have to hand out pink slips during this round of cuts.

That's mainly because the system has prepared for large-scale cuts for years. The system has found ways to consolidate jobs and not fill open positions, be more energy-efficient and be more frugal with state and grant monies, Shotwell said.

"It's not like we've got money stashed away. It was just a way, when cuts started coming, we were able to absorb them in that way," Shotwell said.

The system will also use $2.9 million left over from last year's Education Jobs Fund. However, Shotwell said that is only a temporary fix.

Shotwell will send a draft of the school system's budget to county commissioners in May.

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