Columbia County school budget passes unanimously



The Columbia County Board of Education unanimously approved the county’s 2014-15 budget of just under $187 million at Tuesday’s meeting.

The quick approval came after the budget received tentative approval at a previous meeting and was scrutinized and tweaked leading up to Tuesday.

The budget will allow schools to hire additional teachers and have smaller class sizes. In elementary school, the smaller class sizes will be seen in first grade, third grade and fifth grade.

“For the first time in I can’t tell you how many years, the state has finally been able to give us enough money,” said District 3 school board representative Mike Sleeper. “They’re not cutting us this year. It’s strange territory, it hasn’t happened in a long time.”

A change in the number of periods for high schools will also pay dividends.

“We’re going with the seven-period day in high schools so all core classes in high schools will be at or below state class sizes,” Sleeper said.