Fri., January 22, 2010 3:47pm (EST)

School Chief Worries Cuts Will Slow Progress
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Some schools are coping with cuts by going to shorter weeks and longer days.  (photo courtesy of Atlanta Public Schools)
Some schools are coping with cuts by going to shorter weeks and longer days. (photo courtesy of Atlanta Public Schools)
The state's superintendent of schools worries that budget cuts to education will slow Georgia’s progress. That's what Kathy Cox told reporters today at an annual symposium on Georgia's education.

Cox presented graphs showing how Georgia’s progress rate has outpaced the nation’s over the years, despite its lag in performance. She said the state was catching up to the pack and filling in the achievement gap, but…

"The biggest concern I have at this juncture is with state budget crisis," says Cox. "I don’t want to slow down the progress. I don’t want to slow down the train… I don’t want to have to turn off the engine and just float. We want to keep moving forward."

Governor Perdue proposes to cut $480 million from education spending this year.

Cox says that means, schools must be able to increase their class size. Right now, state law limits the number of kids in class.

Some schools have gone to longer school days and four day school weeks to cope with the financial crisis.

Head of the Georgia Schools Superintendents Association Herb Garrett says more schools will be doing that.

"Some are already planning for things next year like four day weeks," says Garrett, "and 160 day school years like two of our systems already did for this year."

Peach and Wilcox counties have already decided to make the four-day switch.