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Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 4:42am

Barrow Schools Consider Longer Summer

A northeast Georgia school system is considering adding an extra month to summer vacation next year as a way to cut costs.

The idea is being discussed in Barrow County, where the school board has been grappling with falling local revenues and state budget cuts.

An $89 million budget tentatively approved by the Barrow County Board of Education this week would reduce the school year from 180 days to 160 days in 2012-2013.

Officials said the total amount of instruction time would remain about the same as in a 180-day calendar, because each school day would be slightly longer.

School system administrators estimated moving to the 160-day calendar would save about $441,000. The system is also proposing employee furloughs and other cost-cutting measures.

Barrow is the latest Georgia school district to look for creative ways to make ends meet. Clayton County schools are planning to ask parents to pay for their middle school students who want to participate in school sports.

Stewart County Schools are shrinking the school week to four days to save money. And several districts in metro Atlanta are planning layoffs to address falling revenues.


GPB's Joshua Stewart contributed to this report.