An 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.
Kyle 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.
“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.”
Despite 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.
The trials of adulthood came early for Nicole Ferguson.
If there’s one thing Kyle Ledford is good at, it’s pushing boulders uphill.
Shining 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.
Budget cuts are forcing Haywood County Schools to lay off 10 teachers and staff at the end of this school year.
Haywood County school leaders went on record this week patently disputing the allegations in a lawsuit filed last week questioning the motives for closing Central Elementary School.
Haywood County commissioners are once again standing by their commitment to public education, making good on a long-standing pledge to be one of the top counties in the state in local school funding.
A small group of parents had been working quietly for about three years to get the first charter school established in Haywood County, and they were beginning to think they would make it through the process without experiencing the backlash everyone told them was sure to come.
“Everyone warned us it’s going to be hard, but we thought everything was going great until August,” said Anna Eason, a Shining Rock Classical Academy board member. “We bragged about our community being so wonderful and accepting, but then it came out with vengeance.”