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News Education

After hoping to make it through the 2014-15 school year by the skin of their teeth, Macon County Schools is once again bracing for significant budget shortfall.

In 2014-15, the school district was dealt a hand that consisted of a $188,946 reduction in teacher assistant funding, an additional cost of $131,619.93 to cover the salary increase passed by the state to cover the locally paid teachers, and a salary increase of all other locally paid employees to the tune of $34,224.62. Those budget adjustments came after the school district developed the year's budget, meaning the school system had to scramble to make ends meet to account for the $354,666.52 shortfall.

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Even in the military, Joshua Jones couldn’t recall a training experience quite like what he experienced while working toward his National Park Service-Seasonal Law Enforcement Training (NPS-SLET) certification this past fall at Southwestern Community College’s Public Safety Training Center.

“In the military, they were more animated and angry,” said Jones, who lives in Illinois and works at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Mo. “The first thing I noticed at SCC is that the instructors are amazing. I never had trainers that talented. Every session we went into, they brought in legitimate experts in that particular field.”

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Las Vegas trips are supposed to be all about fun, and what could be more fun than placing high at a national competition?

That’s exactly what second-year students in Southwestern Community College’s respiratory therapy program accomplished Dec. 9-12 by finishing fourth in the American Association for Respiratory Care’s annual “Sputum Bowl.” It was the highest finish ever for a team representing North Carolina at the quiz-style contest, which this year included 40 teams from across the country.

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More than 50 of the state's 115 local superintendents stood together today in a historic showing of unity to unveil the "North Carolina Guide to Strengthening Our Public Schools." The guide, created with participation and support from superintendents of all North Carolina's school districts, reflects priorities for enhancing pre-K-12 education in the state and specific strategies to achieve those goals.

"This guide is much more than a set of legislative priorities," said Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the Mooresville Graded Schools and president of the North Carolina School Superintendents Association. "This reflects a concerted effort by all North Carolina superintendents to outline a long-term vision of where our schools need to go and identify a path to get us there."

Edwards, flanked by a majority of the state's local superintendents at a press conference at the Raleigh Convention Center, said creation of this guide is historic for North Carolina because it reflects the shared vision and leadership of all 115 local superintendents.

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