Pasco schools settle on furlough dates
Winter break just got a little longer for Pasco County school students.
District officials announced that schools will close on Thursday, Dec. 22 -- one day earlier than winter vacation had been scheduled to begin -- so that all district employees can serve one of their mandatory unpaid leave days. The United School Employees of Pasco insisted on having at least one furlough day be a student class day, so the burden of budget cuts is not placed solely on employees' shoulders.
The second furlough day for employees will not be a class day. The School Board refused to consider a second lost day of instruction.
As a result, the date will vary for different groups of employees. The district has 22 total work calendars.
The bulk of them will be furloughed on the last date of their contracted work period. For teachers, that will be June 7, which had been a scheduled planning day. Many instructional aides will have their second furlough day on June 6.
Spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said the complete list of dates will be posted on the district website and delivered to every worker.
Administrators will have furlough days, too. Theirs will be Dec. 22, Jan. 6 and June 7. School Board members will not have days off, but they also will have their pay reduced to reflect three unpaid days, the number for all 12-month employees. The board called for furloughs to save as much as $6 million of a projected $60 million budget hole, with layoffs covering much of the rest.
The initial proposal called for more furlough days, but the number was reduced after officials learned that insurance costs would not rise as much as expected.