As the Macon County budget process gets under way, education spending will be one of the meatier items up for discussion.
Leaking roofs, technology needs and impending state cuts prompted Jackson County Schools to put out a hefty ask to the county at the beginning of its budget talks, but it’s looking like the school system will wind up with only about half of the original $4.8 million in new funding it asked for.
Haywood County Schools will cut its budget by $900,000 next year, plus tap its cash reserves to the tune of $1.5 million to soften the blow of what would otherwise be even larger cuts.
“This is a draft. We may have to go back and cut more,” Haywood Superintendent Anne Garrett said, when presenting a summary of the school system budget to county commissioners last month.
Haywood School Superintendent Anne Garrett came up with a novel approach for predicting how many students a new charter school will siphon out of the public school system.
Haywood County Schools have been losing students slowly but steadily over the past decade. Despite high academic performance, the school system has 500 fewer students.
Where did they go? Why? Will the decline continue?
• Case #1: The homeschool factor
• Case #2: Recession drives working families to leave Haywood
• Case #3: Private schools only a minor league player
• Case #4: New charter school makes a trial run in Haywood
• Haywood Schools grapple with enrollment wildcard
Voters could see more Ds and Rs on their election ballot in 2016 if Republicans push through legislation to make local school board and statewide judicial races partisan.
Haywood County Schools will get a modest 2 percent increase each year for the next three years in its student per capita funding from the county.
“… the long-term benefits of a high-quality pre-K program can be substantial. These include higher high school graduation rates, lower rates of juvenile delinquency, less substance abuse, and higher adult earnings. Thus, many studies show that high-quality pre-K programs can improve outcomes for disadvantaged children in the short run and generate favorable returns for taxpayers in the long run.”
— Professor William T. Gormley Jr., Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Most parents who have the time and the education to take part in their children’s schooling remember well those first couple of years. Your child — with your help — was prepared for kindergarten, and then you worked with them as they learned to read and do simple math. Other children, however, came to school so unprepared that they demanded so much of the teacher’s time that it slowed the whole class down.
The Haywood County School Board followed the recommendation of school cafeteria workers this month and voted to continue buying cleaning chemicals exclusively from a national company, despite promising a local supplier that he would have a chance to bid on the contract for the next school year.
More kids will get a critical early start in education thanks to an expansion of the pre kindergarten program offered on-site at public schools in Haywood County.
Until now, the in-house pre kindergarten program run by the school system has been for low-income children only and funded entirely by government subsidies. But despite the proven importance of kindergarten readiness, there’s not enough state and federal funding to serve all the kids who technically qualify for subsidized pre kindergarten, leading to a perpetual shortage of pre-K slots.