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When bid estimates for renovations for Union Academy came in lower than the actual bids received, Macon County school board was forced to make the difficult decision of cutting project details to get the budget in line. Some of those cuts, according to Union Academy Principal Diane Cotton, could be dangerous this upcoming school year.

One of the cost saving measures at Union Academy was to eliminate the plan to upgrade lighting at Union Academy and instead of upgrading to LED lighting in the school, the school will continue with fluorescent lighting. Cotton noted that the fluorescent lighting triggered three seizures at the school last year, as several of the school's students have special needs.

Members of the school board noted that after the school renovations are completed, that additional needs, such as LED lighting could be addressed then.


Resurfacing won’t solve ongoing drainage problem.

The track at Franklin High School serves the community all year long. From hosting community events such as the annual Relay for Life fundraiser to offering residents a place to exercise, the high school track is more than just a facility for students. Recognizing the need for improvements to the track, Macon County Board of Education Chairman Jim Breedlove recommended that the school board ask the county for help funding the needed renovations.

With an anticipated $55,000 needed to resurface the track, the school board plans to ask the county for help improving the facility.


Uncertainty on the state level has led Macon County School leaders to leave a slew of positions unfilled for the coming school year. Monday night, Terry Bell, a consultant working with Macon County Schools handling responsibilities such as school personnel, informed board members that the school system had a long list of vacancies, some of which will have to remain unfilled in the coming school year due to the lack of guidance from the state’s budget.

Out of the roughly 19 vacancies within the district, Bell informed board members that at least eight will go unfilled in the coming school year, many of which include teacher assistant positions.


Highlands, Nantahala planning ahead for snow days.

Winter weather has always been difficult for all Macon County students, causing school to be cancelled or delayed several times a year, but for students attending school at Highlands and Nantahala, winter always seems to hit a little harder and disrupt the annual calendar a little more.

With a calendar waiver approved during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, students in those areas of the county will see some relief when it comes to the school calendar next year.


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