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Barrow school system employees given 3 percent raise in budget

WINDER - Employees of Barrow County's school system will get a 3 percent cost-of-living raise in the 2007-08 budget. School board members approved the new budget in Tuesday's meeting.

The budget is unbalanced, meaning the system will spend $4.3 million more than it will bring in, although a midyear adjustment could correct most of that shortfall, according to Ken Cato, assistant superintendent of business services.

The district will spend the most money, $37.9 million, on teachers' salaries.

The least amount of money, $398,623, will be spent on the human resources department.

The largest source of cash for the school system comes from state quality basic education funds at $53.1 million.

Even though the budget falls short, school board members plan no layoffs or tax increase. The millage rate will remain at 18.5 mills.

New teachers hired

School board members approved hiring 30 to 40 new teachers, although Barrow County schools still need four or five math teachers and five to 10 special education teachers, said Ron Saunders, superintendent of schools. If those teachers are not hired, substitutes will teach those classes, Saunders said.

Single-sex class proposal

Mary Deaton, Winder-Barrow Middle School's principal, proposed having two single-sex math classes, one all-boys class and one all girls.

Those classes would target seventh-graders who need extra attention for the math portion of the CRCT. The board is expected to vote on the proposal in the July 10 meeting.