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fr maconschoolsMacon County Schools Superintendent Chris Baldwin came before the county commissioners last week to plead his case for additional funding in the 2016-17 budget.

jacksonBy David Belcher • Guest Columnist

Voters in Jackson County will have the opportunity on Tuesday, June 7, to take an important step toward addressing some significant infrastructure problems being faced by Southwestern Community College and Jackson County Public Schools.

op frHaywood County Schools has been a part of my life for 24 years now — as a journalist, the husband of a teacher, and the parent of three children who were each students for 13 years in the system — and never has there been a time when I have heard more criticism about its leadership. 

I sort of get it — you close a school, that’s what happens. Understandably, people get emotional. But the larger, more important issue for parents and taxpayers, though, is whether the school system is in good hands. Is there any validity to the voices critical of Superintendent Anne Garrett and the school board’s leadership through these trying times?

fr schoolsaskAn innovative high school dropout program in Haywood County was rescued from the chopping block this week after county commissioners and school officials agreed to go halves on the $61,000 needed to keep it open.

coverKyle Ledford spent years working with at-risk youth and high school dropouts in the Haywood school system. Saving kids was his calling, but it always felt like he was not playing with a full deck.

SEE ALSO:
• Dropout program in jeopardy
• Caught in life’s crosshairs, students struggle not to dropout
• Trying to put a square peg in a round hole? Kyle Ledford’s your man

“The problems these kids were having could not be addressed in and of itself by a school. We couldn’t do anything about getting them a job or providing childcare or getting them housing and clothing,” Ledford said. “I can teach kids all day long, but I can’t do anything about housing and I can’t do anything about food stamps and I can’t do anything about transportation. The school system can’t solve a societal problem. It takes the community.”

fr learningcenter1Despite wild success rescuing high school dropouts and turning their lives around, the Haywood Community Learning Center is on the brink of closing if a funding quandary isn’t solved soon.

fr bucellaThe trials of adulthood came early for Nicole Ferguson.

fr ledfordIf there’s one thing Kyle Ledford is good at, it’s pushing boulders uphill.

fr SRCAShining Rock Classical Academy is considering legal action against a modular building company for not being able to honor its lease agreement with the charter school.

haywoodBudget cuts are forcing Haywood County Schools to lay off 10 teachers and staff at the end of this school year.

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