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School officials want parents to contact state representatives about school budgets

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CUSSETA, Ga. - More than 1 billion dollars across the state of Georgia has been cut from education in fiscal year 2014. Local school district officials are urging parents to contact their elected representatives in order to change that trend. Chattahoochee County Superintendent Jimmy Martin says his district has an "all hands on deck" attitude with teachers and administrators doing more and more tasks in order to save money.

"This money is money that our school systems in the state of Georgia earn that we're not getting," said Martin.

This trend has been consistent since fiscal year 2003 when the state cut more than 134 million dollars to education. The numbers across the state go up and down each year but superintendent Martin says in his district it's been on the rise for the past 3 years. He says his schools are trying to find ways to stay within the budget without compromising education.

"Sometimes you don't buy textbooks because that money has to be used to make up for other losses you had somewhere else in funding," said Martin.

This year alone the district has lost more than $700,000. The cuts have made it hard to refill some positions and increased class sizes. Chattahoochee County teachers have faced 2 furlough days this school year and Martin says they have to pick and choose what resources they can afford for the classrooms. He says this year there is a bit of good news for the upcoming school year with the Governor's proposed budget.

"Roughly going to get back about one third of what we have lost this year," said Martin.

He still encourages parents across the state to contact their representatives.

"We want to keep the foot on the gas. This is not a one time fix. It took us time to get here an we need to take the time to get out of this," said Martin.

To find a list of representatives you can visit http://www.house.ga.gov/Representatives/en-US/HouseMembersList.aspx.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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