With budget cuts to education continuing year after year, Macon County School officials are exploring every cost saving avenue possible. One unique expenditure Macon County faces is funding two of the state's three K-12 schools.
To discuss the hardship faced each year in Macon County, Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin met with state representatives Sen. Jim Davis and Rep. Roger West last weekend in hopes of getting legislative support.
Based on the formula used by the state when funding teachers, Macon County spends about $1 million a year just to provide teachers for Highlands and Nantahala. That is $1 million in local funds above and beyond what the state allocates.
The state allocates one teacher per 18 students in kindergarten classrooms. With 23 kindergarten students in Highlands, the state provides funding for 1.28 teachers. For grades 1-3, the state provides one teacher for every 17 students. With 85 students in grades 1-3 in Highlands, the state funds the five teachers currently assigned to those grades.