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Monday, August 3, 2009 - 12:32pm

Schools Take Drastic Measures To Plug Huge Budget Shortfalls

Georgia's financial crunch means less money for education, and two rural school districts are resorting to drastic measures in an attempt to cut costs.

Peach County, in Middle Georgia, is cutting its school week from five days to four. Students, who start class today, will attend school from Tuesday through Friday.

Murray County, in North Georgia, will maintain a five day school week. However, it will cut 20 days from the school year.

Both districts will extend the school day by an hour to make up for the days students are not in class.

"We're pretty desperate in finding things we can cut and still maintain our instructional programs... yeah, we're pretty desperate," said Dean Donehoo, director of administrative services for Murray County school district.

Donehoo says his school system hopes to save 125,000 dollars by cutting expenses like gas and air-conditioning.

This is the first year schools in Georgia are able to be flexible with their schedule because of legislation passed earlier this year. It says as long as schools make up the instructional hours they can deviate from the 180-day school year.