Haywood budget burdened by higher costs of doing business

moneyThe give-and-take of crafting a budget is in full throttle in Haywood County, but what will be cut and what will come out on top is a close-to-the-vest affair until next week.

Franklin mayor warns of tough budget year

Now that town aldermen have a preliminary budget in front of them, the Franklin leaders are ready to begin an arduous process.

Mayor Bob Scott read a prepared statement to the public during a Monday night town meeting. He said the board was about to embark on the most unpopular part of town government — deciding what will get funded for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The town’s proposed budget is about $3.8 million — a slight increase from the 2014-15 budget of $3.7 million.

Macon schools request $7.9 million from county

schoolsAs the Macon County budget process gets under way, education spending will be one of the meatier items up for discussion.

Jackson County comes up short on $4.8 million ask from school district

schoolsLeaking 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 Schools prepare for the worst as it awaits funding word from state

schoolsHaywood 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.

Teachers fight to restore public education funds

fr maconschoolsThird-grade teacher Carolyn Cope deals with many stresses day in and day out —making sure her students are happy and healthy, teaching them a new curriculum and making sure she’s prepared them well enough to pass their extensive reading tests.

School boards need to fight the good fight

op frThe Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money toward a lobbying effort by the N.C. School Boards Association. The decision is the right one given the current situation in Raleigh and hopefully will be money well spent.

Lobbying is a catchall phrase that often has a negative connotation. I get that. When business groups direct thousands of dollars to candidate campaigns and then try to use that support to influence legislation, things often get sleazy. We’ve all read about it happening too many times.

Haywood Schools to end cheap childcare incentives for teachers

An innovative tool to help recruit the best and brightest teachers to Haywood County has become too costly for the school system to continue in light of education budget cuts in recent years.

Fretting the PILT jilt: WNC counties could lose out if formula is altered

It’s about that time. Time to worry about PILT money.  

After seeing the federal payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) program receive a one-year extension early this year, local leaders are now looking out for more than the program’s continuance going forward.

Broken, breaking or blossoming? Macon educators discuss state of public schools

fr forumNorth Carolina education has seen its share of high-profile issues over the last couple of years. Teacher raises, tenure, vouchers, budget calculations and adoption — and then abandonment — of the Common Core State Standards have all made headlines. A roomful of people gathered at last week’s Macon County League of Women Voters’ meeting to hear a panel of Macon County teachers, administrators and teachers address those changes’ effect on the classroom. The question: Is public education reforming or declining? 

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