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More pupils pass benchmark exam in Columbia Co.

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The number of Columbia County pupils who passed a benchmark exam that determines their promotion increased this year.

The results of the Criterion-Reference Competency Test were released Tuesday. Administered in April, the CRCT tests pupils' reading and math skills.

Just 60 third-graders failed the reading portion of the exam this year, down from 87 in 2009.

Fewer fifth-graders failed the test in both reading and math. Last year, 125 failed reading and 205 failed math. This year, those figures dropped to 77 and 198, respectively.

Also, fewer eighth-graders will head to summer school to retake reading and math exams. Just 43 failed reading; 306 eighth-graders failed math.

In 2009, 68 eighth-graders failed reading and 317 failed the math portion.

The CRCT is used to determine a school's adequate yearly progress as set by federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

Pupils who failed have an opportunity to retake the test after remediation courses are offered during summer school.

Before Tuesday's meeting, the school board discussed the 2010-11 budget.

State lawmakers completed the 2010 legislative session last week. Legislators eliminated about $6 million in state funding for Columbia County schools.

To offset those loss in funding, school officials propose eliminating 18 teaching positions and two counselor positions; cutting nearly 60 paraprofessional positions through a hiring freeze; cutting the middle school Spanish program; cutting some middle school sports programs such as track, junior varsity softball, junior varsity baseball, soccer and tennis; adding five furlough days in the calendar for the next school year; and halting funding for long-term disability.

Even with the cuts, the system is still about $2.8 million short of meeting nearly $168 million in expected expenditures for next year.

The board will meet again at 8 a.m. Tuesday to further discuss the budget. They are scheduled to approve it June 8.

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Martinez
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Martinez 05/12/10 - 06:11 am
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I understand the need to cut

I understand the need to cut but I don't see a single administrative cut listed? Why is that? Are we to believe that the Hereford Farm Admin building is being run so lean that there was no room for cuts there too? Or how about a cut in the monthly stipend the elected board members receive? They say they don't do it for the money and it certainly isn't a lot of money anyway but where is there offer to share in this burden? Or better yet, let's wait a year or two to build new schools to make sure we properly maintain the ones that exist today? Or let's re-exam how contracts are awarded and to who. The board won't allow a licensed and bonded contractor to even volunteer their time to fix something at a school. Instead they have a preferred group of contractors who don't always provide the best quality or lowest price service. Point being, instead of focusing on what else to take away from the students, teachers and schools.... let's take a hard look at the administration and how they do business for the next round of cuts.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 05/12/10 - 06:41 am
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at least in columbia county

at least in columbia county they realize EVERYTHING MUST BE CUT BACK, he ms. cain you see how the col cnty school board cut even the sports programs, well i guess here in richmond county sports is the "holy grail" immune to even the slightest reduction, with all of the traditional high school failing to meet ayp you would think furloghing, firing or laying off teachers or parapros would be last on the list

lifelongresidient
0
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lifelongresidient 05/12/10 - 06:42 am
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BTW when is richmond county

BTW when is richmond county going to publish the results of the CRCT let me guess they have to make a few more last minute changes.....

redleg
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redleg 05/12/10 - 07:43 am
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It's time we re-think the way

It's time we re-think the way we furlough teachers. Columbia County is furloughing teachers for 5 days next year. While that sounds as though everyone is sharing the burden equally, simple math reveals that simply is not the case.
The superintendent works 243 days. By furloughing 5 day's pay he is losing 2.05% of his pay. Granted it is more money because he makes more but read on.
Teachers are paid for 190 days. By furloughing 5 day's pay they lose 2.63% of their pay. The para-pros are paid for 180 days. By furloughing 5 day's pay they lose 2.77% of their pay.
Instead of furloughing by days we should cut everyone's pay an equal percentage. This is yet another case of the upper echelons of the pay scale losing less of a percentage of their money.

classyfox
0
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classyfox 05/12/10 - 08:51 am
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lifelongresident be patient.

lifelongresident be patient. RC. just took the test a few weeks ago. Do you have children attending the RC schools?

class1
300
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class1 05/12/10 - 04:52 pm
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Both counties took the test

Both counties took the test the same days. Richmond County scores were released last night.

lildevil
7
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lildevil 05/12/10 - 09:51 pm
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In today’s world the last

In today’s world the last thing we need to be cutting is QUALITIFIED teachers. I know a couple of teachers that are tired of getting "screwed" Why should they pay thousands of dollars for school, to get the feeling that they should do things for free. They are very under appreciated. They are looking for other professions where the might be appreciated more. For that can you blame them, and in reality it don't matter what county, city, or state you live in. The sports programs are not right either, now our kids have more chances of getting in trouble, making bad decisions, therefore more delinquency. I agree with starting with the administrators that making big bucks, sitting on there butts and half the time not getting much done, but then again Crap Does Runs down hill and its mighty stinky at the bottom. I'm really glad that my last son is graduating this year, for I'm tired of the drama.
After all that I guess there is a good side of this. Parents can step up, be responsible for your "little angels" or we get more Judges to handle them for you! That is Change I can believe in.

rmajor
8
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rmajor 05/20/10 - 11:04 am
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Of course I have a child at a

Of course I have a child at a Columbia County school. I also agree that we start with administrators because it is difficult to find an excellent teacher with "old school" values where they really care about the child learning. I will submit, I have had trouble with the curriculum and how the programs are changed from year to year, however, in the interim, the children have to suffer and acclimate to all the changes. I called the superintendent's office and they were immediately, responsive and really acted, in a pro-active and real way to resolve the issue for my child. It's been two years, however, I applaude them. We need the teachers. They are under appreciated and this is an awesome, county. As a parent and tax payer, I will do whatever I need to do to support the school system to ensure all of our children continue to get quality instruction and programs. All of our kids deserve it and the teachers who invest in them every week day, 180 days of the year.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/20/10 - 11:11 am
0
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Columbia County schools rock!

Columbia County schools rock!

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