During the county school board meeting on Thursday night, county Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo outlined what he believes the consequences would be if the state legislature fails to act on an impending budget crisis.
Current and possible future furloughs are the result of what he sees as the state refusing to address budget shortfalls and relying on federal stimulus dollars to make up they difference.
"No one wants to admit the needs," he said, adding the state only has one more year of federal stimulus dollars left to use.
The talk of furloughs is "all we're hearing" from the state, said Mike McGowan, district director of public information, communications and partnerships.
McGowan added there are no set plans to require furlough days next semester, and officials won't begin the process until the receive final word from the governor's office.
"There will be no decisions based on rumors," McGowan said.
The district has already required staff to take three unpaid furlough days this semester. Staff affected by the furloughs include teachers, some school secretarial/clerical positions, principals, assistant principals, support services employees, transportation specialists, maintenance/vehicle technicians, the superintendent and central office employees including assistant superintendent, director, supervisor, coordinator, manager and/secretarial positions.
During the meeting, Petruzielo also criticized the Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit program signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Under the legislation, the governor will allow as much as $50 million in state tax credits to be used by low-income families interested in school choice.
It allows private citizens and corporations to earn tax credits by making donations to state-approved scholarship organizations, which in turn allows public school students to transfer to private schools.
Private citizens and corporations receive income tax credits by donating money to one of 10 state-approved scholarship organizations.
These organizations then provide scholarships to parents who wish to transfer their children from a public school to an accredited private school.
Petruzielo said the legislation basically is a voucher program that uses public money to fund private education for children.
"A constitutional challenge is only a matter of time," he said of the law.
School board member Mike Chapman also criticized the law.
He said state leaders are "talking out both sides of their mouths" when it comes to promoting school choice, while at the same time steadily decreasing the amount of money given each year to local school districts.