I would like to take this opportunity to
thank you for all of your hard work and dedication for the students in
As you know, the State is facing a serious
budget shortfall in the current fiscal year. As the General Assembly began
their session, we were facing the possibility of a 10% budget reduction.
This included a complete reduction of all food processing funds.
Today I am pleased to tell you that the
amended FY09 budget has been signed and we have only received a total reduction
of 3%. While this is a sizeable reduction, we are truly blessed to have
the support that we have from the Governor and the General Assembly.
I have reviewed all aspects of our budget
and the identified reductions in the General Assembly’s budget. After
consultation with the Region Coordinators, we have developed a plan to
implement the reductions. The following is a summary of the reductions.
Food Processing budget is being reduced by $50,000. The grant for food
processing is being reduced by approximately 16% for your local system
if your system receives this grant.
Extended Day budget is being reduced by $136,502. The grant for extended
day is being reduced by 6.842% or 13 hours for each teacher receiving this
Young Farmer budget is being reduced by $225,086. The grant for the young
farmer program is being reduced by 13 hours of extended day for each young
I realize that no one wants to experience
a reduction in their pay. The Region Coordinators, FFA Executive Secretary
and I have taken one furlough day since January and we did not receive
the annual cost of living pay raise that the teachers received this year.
While this is unpleasant it is much better than not having a job at all.
We must keep this situation in perspective. Today thousands of people in
our state are not as fortunate as we are.
Thank you again for the great job that
you do. Please rest assured that we are working as hard as we can to minimize
any future reductions to any aspect of our program.
John K. Wilkinson
Program Manager, Agricultural Education
Georgia Department of Education
1752 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, GA 30334
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