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News Education

Mountain View Intermediate (MVI) students participated in Folt Science Night – an initiative named in honor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Chancellor Carol Folt. The nights are funded by an anonymous donor.

Colored slime, rockets, a marshmallow tower challenge and invisible ink were a few out of the 12 activities sixth grade students participated in. The morning was spent rotating through these activities which were presented by fifth grade MVI Connections, students who have been working for the last week to prepare their activity to present to the sixth grade students. The fifth grade students showed excellent leadership skills by preparing and presenting these activities.

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Students in Macon County schools have not received new text books in more than a decade. Text books currently available are out-of-date, or in such bad shape they cannot be used at all. Children go home at night without textbooks to reference, and parents do not have materials to review to help with homework.

“Principals tell me frequently that they hear complaints from parents that they can’t help their child with their homework, because they don’t have a textbook to refer to,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin during the March Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

State funding of education has dramatically decreased over the last 10 years. Since 1999, Macon County’s state allocated textbook budget has been sliced in half. From the 2012-13 school year to this year, Macon County received 76 percent less funding for textbooks reducing the overall textbook allocation to $64,000, or $14 per student. With new books costing upwards of $150 per book, that $64k didn’t go very far, explained Baldwin.

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Schools throughout Macon County are celebrating reading this week. Iotla Valley Elementary celebrated Read Across America Day with students and teachers dressing up as their favorite book character.

Guest readers like School Board member Tommy Cabe, and Macon County Children's Librarian Maggie Kennedy visited the school to read some of the children's favorite books.

Iotla Valley decorated the school from top to bottom with themes from Dr. Seuss books and others, coinciding with Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2.

Iotla Valley will end their Reading Celebration Week on Friday with Hidden Reader Day.

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Debate over teacher tenure changes still raging.

The Macon County Board of Education opened its February meeting by recognizing young writers who have been honored on the state level. Every year Western Mountains Reading Council participates with the North Carolina Reading Association to sponsor the Young Author Writing Project. WMRC is allowed to send in 20 of Macon County’s best local entries.

This year’s theme was "Happily Ever After,” and encouraged students to write a song, poem, story or book that speaks of a bright future or someone who encourages them to keeping working toward a goal, pointing to a "happy ending."

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