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News Education Macon schools must return $1.26 million

The board formally welcomed Nantahala’s former P.E. teacher, James Bryan, as Nantahala’s new principal effective July 1. Bryan has been working at Nantahala for more than 12 years and is excited to take on the new role and remain within the Nantahala family. Early this year, Bryan acknowledged his new role and said, “We have a great group of kids at Nantahala.” “I have seen a lot of them grow up and graduate … from the time they were in kindergarten.” Photo by Christopher CarpenterAt Monday’s school board meeting, Macon County Schools Finance Director, Angie Cook, reported on the $1.26 million the district will be required to return to the state out of its $24.77 million allocation.

According to Cook, the allocation already reflected budget cuts which affected programs such as driver’s education. To compensate for the 5 percent reversion, Macon County reconfigured the budget and “trade in” 19 teaching position salaries and one principal’s salary. According to Cook, “that does not mean eliminating 19 positions, that means cashing in the positions.” The positions that were “cashed in” to meet the reversion amount will now be paid for out of local funds. Cook also reported that as of last Thursday morning, additional cuts have been mandated; a $19,000 reduction for Charter School funds, and a $50,000 reduction in funds for virtual public schools.

Along with the driver’s education program, another program that is being cut is the More at Four programs. The program will remain at Cartoogechaye but will no longer be offered at Macon Middle; 18 students will be affected at Macon Middle due to the cut. Dr. Brigman said, “This is another one of the casualties from the General Assembly that public education is experienced this year. The More at Four Programs are often considered great equalizers in closing the opportunity gap; it gives kids experience before they get to us in kindergarten.

It’s a sad day in North Carolina that we see these small children and these programs be targets for cuts, because it does affect them when they enter their K-12 experience.” According to Brigman, the data should speak for itself, “Data shows that these students who attend the More at Four programs are more prepared when they enter kindergarten.”

Code of conduct revisions

Nancy Cantrell announced state mandated revisions to board policy #450 and #452.  The state mandated that a section be added to board policy #450 which gives parents the option to opt out of corporal punishment. Along with the additional section to the policy, a form must be sent home to all students; by signing and returning the form, parents opt out of corporal punishment as an option for their child and acknowledge that if need be, other suitable punishment methods will be sought. Board Policy #452 received state mandated alterations that eliminated redundant wording and clarified the county’s expulsion policy.

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