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Unpaid Furloughs May End in Pasco Schools

Teachers and staff may get two days of pay back in their checks this year.

Land O' Lakes teachers tired of hearing bleak financial news out of the Pasco County School district office might be in for a surprise.

The district thinks it may have found a way to afford canceling the two unpaid furlough days staff and faculty have endured since budget cuts have become a way of life for Pasco schools.

Kevin Shibley, the district’s employee relations director revealed a way to save $3 million, effectively ending the need for furlough days this year, during a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The cost savings come from multiple sources – two of which would require approval from the United School Employees of Pasco union.

The plan’s likelihood of meeting union approval looks good, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Union president Lynne Webb doesn’t object to it.

It is unclear at this point how soon the plan might receive approval.

In the meantime, the district is facing another round of possible budget cuts in the 2013-14 school year. At this point, it’s estimated the loss will be about $23 million. Whether furlough days would be added back into the mix to help close that gap is unknown at this point.

The district announced earlier this week it was putting a freeze on hiring in anticipation of the upcoming budget cuts.

Do you think canceling the furlough days is a good idea? Is it too little, too late? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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