Making the grade: Schools strain under pressure of misguided expectations

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Much like a band-aid on a kid’s scraped elbow, No Child Left Behind was put in place to mend an educational system many claimed was in disrepair. An increasing number of critics, however, are questioning the effectiveness of the act as a permanent fix for the problems plaguing America’s schools.

Counties struggle to recruit teachers

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Paula Ledford is getting worried.

With a little over a month to go before school starts in Macon County, the school human resources director still has to find 15 people to fill vacant positions. The list includes assistant principals, elementary school faculty, teachers of exceptional children, and more. She’s digging deep — calling universities to ask about recent graduates that still might be looking for jobs, posting notices on as many Web sites as she can think of, even calling retired teachers to see if they’ll come back as a sub on a short-term basis. After all, Ledford says, “sometimes people will graduate in December,” which means she might be able to lure someone to Macon County by the winter.

Motive questioned in budget cut

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

A 3 to 1 vote by the Swain County Board of Commissioners last week will effectively reduce the salary of the newly elected sheriff.

Sylva town board cuts DSA funding

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Sylva town board members’ minds are unchanged about cutting the Downtown Sylva Association’s funding from $20,000 to $2,000 after a heated public comment session pitted local merchants against budgetary conservatives.

DSA rallies support to oppose funding cut

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Sylva town board members should expect a heated public comment session at their upcoming meeting on Thursday, July 6, as Downtown Sylva Association members are rallying support to persuade aldermen to overturn their decision to cut the organization’s funding from $20,000 to $2,000.

Support for downtown Sylva is a wise investment

Sylva town officials have OK’d a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that has just about eliminated funding for the Downtown Sylva Association (formerly SPIR). That’s a mistake the citizens of Sylva and the downtown business community should not tolerate.

Sylva slashes funding for downtown group

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Faced with a $20,000 budget cut, the Downtown Sylva Association is re-examining its plans after Sylva aldermen voted 3 to 2 last Thursday (June 15) not to renew the town’s annual contribution to the group.

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