A second round of mid-year budget cuts announced by the governor include reductions to school districts this time around and had some educators in Madison County worried about summer paychecks.

Madison County School District Superintendent Dr. Ronnie McGehee said he had received concerns from teachers that their May and June paychecks may be impacted.

The cuts by Gov. Phil Bryant — which amount to less than half-a-percent for education — total $230,971 less for the district this budget year from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

McGehee said no teacher salaries will be affected and the district would be absorbing the reduction.

“We’ll take it out of the fund balance,” he said. “We’re just blessed to be in a county that has a healthy local ad valorem that we can do that.”

He said the district will likely plan for reductions in the future in next year’s budget as a precaution.

“If we had a .43 percent hit here at the end, what is the next 2016-2017 school year going to look like,” McGehee questioned. “There is nervousness moving forward.”

The $230,000 reduction would have paid for 10 teacher assistants, which the district has already had to do without in some classes since 2009 when the economy was in a depression.

McGehee pointed out that the new reduction, coupled with the money that would have been given to the district had MAEP been fully-funded, sits at over $5 million.

He called that money a “game changer” and would open up so many possibilities for the district.

“You would see technology devices across the board,” he said. “You would see development of instructional specialists to defer the reaction or preparation.

“You would see an enhancement of coding in curriculum,” he continued. “Lower student-teacher rations, higher paid teachers, so much.”

Bryant said the cuts were less than half of one percent and “I think we’ll be fine.”

He was forced to take an additional $10 million from the state’s rainy day fund and cut across the board to meet a $25 million deficit.

State revenues are down over $120 million of what was projected for this budget year. This also comes at a time when state lawmakers passed a $415 million tax cut.

McGehee said the future of education cannot be stunted by budget cuts or fear of budget cuts each year.

“We must find a way to properly educate our young people for the knowledge economy,” he said. “Education has to find a way to be properly funded going forward. The investment in education in a high-skill, high-wage position in the state of Mississippi has to become paramount in our goals.”

He added, “Too long we’ve been in a position where we’ve been in a low-skill wage environment.”

The Canton Public School District will have to absorb $63,227 in reductions this year.