Harrison County teachers worried about their financial futures - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County teachers worried about their financial futures

By Doug Walker – bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Worried, but not surprised. That's the mood of teachers at one Harrison County school, one day after a letter was sent out announcing a $2,000 pay cut. The cuts are being done to help erase an $8 million budget deficit facing the school system.

West Wortham Elementary & Middle School Principal Heather Blenden is trying to look at the bright side.

"They are happy that they still have jobs and they hope to continue to have jobs next year, but we do have some people who are going to struggle from that and are concerned about that," Blenden said. 

Teacher's Assistant Lori Scarborough said the cuts are going to hit her twice as hard.

"It's going to make a big difference in our lives at home because myself and my husband both work for Harrison County schools," Scarborough said. "We'll both have to make cuts." 

Even parents are concerned.  Sassy Miller has a child in the second grade and is worried assistants may try to find better paying jobs. 

"If you've got an assistant that leaves and you don't hire an assistant to put in their place, you've got 24 children with one teacher and they're not getting as much one on one time or small group time."

Despite the budget realignments and salary cuts, the teachers at West Wortham Elementary and Middle School all say the same thing: Morale is good and they're looking forward to better days.

Harrison County teachers are planning on holding a rally to bring attention to their plight, and push the state for more funding.  The rally will be held on Saturday, April 24, at the Courthouse Road Pier in Gulfport.  It will start at nine in the morning and last for two hours.

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