Columbia County school officials gave tentative approval Tuesday to adding fewer than four teaching positions in county elementary and middle schools next year.
“At this point, we’re only asking for an increase of 3.5 teachers,” Superintendent Charles Nagle said.
With the number of elementary school pupils expected to rise by 124 children, Nagle asked the board to approve adding two teachers for the 2013-14 school year.
“That’s if our kindergarten (population) doesn’t grow,” he said.
In middle schools, where 1.5 education positions are being sought, 147 more pupils are anticipated.
Administrators are planning for 420 more pupils next year. Evans and Martinez elementary schools are likely to see the largest gains, while Grovetown Middle School is expected to lose the most.
Contingency funds will allow for hiring 10 additional educators if necessary, Nagle said.
After the board returned from a closed session, trustee Mike Sleeper suggested it revise voting procedures.
Instead of voting for tentative and then final approval as it does now, Sleeper sought a first and second reading, similar to how county commissioners and city governments vote.
Board members will decide later on the suggestion.
The meeting was the first for new District 1 school board member David Dekle, who was sworn in as he stood next to his family.
“I want to say how humbling and exciting it is to have this opportunity to serve the citizens in Columbia County,” he said.
The lawyer replaces longtime board member Wayne Bridges, who chose not to run for re-election.