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Columbia County's schools to grow but add few teachers

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Even though Columbia County’s student population is expected to increase next year by roughly 400 students, only a few new teachers will be added.

School board members on Tuesday approved a plan to leave unchanged the number of noncertified staff – bus drivers, paraprofessionals and nutrition workers – and to add 14.91 certified positions.
The teacher numbers include fractions, explained Superintendent Charles Nagle, because some are existing teachers who pick up an extra class rather than another position being added, or a teacher who handles individual classes at different schools.

“That seems like a bookkeeper’s nightmare,” said District 4 School Board member Roxanne Whitaker.

“It means we’ve cut the budget to the marrow,” Nagle said, by shifting fractional duties to other staffers rather than adding full- or part-time positions despite the rising student population.

Also Tuesday, board members approved expenditures for items including:

• A three-year contract totalling $274,847 for routine replacement of air conditioning filters in all 31 schools and system offices.

• A three-year contract for $692,000 for school high-speed duplicating services, awarded to Simplified Office Systems – the existing contractor – despite being underbid by $17,000 by Duplicating Systems. The latter company used a different type of machine that didn’t fare as well in testing, Nagle said.

• Furniture purchases to outfit the new Columbia Middle and Evans Elementary schools, scheduled to open this fall. The total cost is $610,096. Surplus furniture from the existing schools will be moved to the new school, used to replace broken furniture at other schools or, in the case of Evans Elementary, stay with the old building for use by the alternative school.

• Replacement of 14 laptop and 274 desktop computers from Hewlett-Packard for $176,622.

The board cancelled its first regularly scheduled meeting for April because of spring break.

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Riverman1
93232
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Riverman1 03/27/13 - 08:37 am
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Columbia County is one of the

Columbia County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Kudos to Nagle for trying, but these measures won't last for long.

soapy_725
44049
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soapy_725 03/27/13 - 09:00 am
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CC is and has been defined by its efforts to provide
Unpublished

a quality education for all in the midst of chaos. An OASIS that brought us to CC 37 years ago from the DESERT of ARC.

The remainder of CC government's collective efforts are housing, strip malls, asphalt and concrete. Maybe to feed the school system?

Little Lamb
48832
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Little Lamb 03/27/13 - 09:10 am
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Sneaky

From the story:

Surplus furniture from the existing schools will . . . in the case of Evans Elementary, stay with the old building for use by the alternative school.

Those high schoolers sent to the Alternative School will really enjoy learning in those elementary school desks!

rocketserve
280
Points
rocketserve 03/27/13 - 09:25 am
1
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And fishy...
Unpublished

I wonder who works for Simplified Office Systems that is in good with the school system to get a contract even though it is $17k higher than another bid? And $177k for computers? That adds up to around $600 per computer, I would think that a major school system buying that many could get a little better pricing on that many computers. And spending more for air filters than computers?

Little Lamb
48832
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Little Lamb 03/27/13 - 09:46 am
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Air Filters

The air conditioning industry has established a system to generate maximum profits by eliminating observation, thinking and common sense. They have decreed that air filters in air handling systems should be changed every three months. In reality, they should be changed when they are dirty. And dirty does not mean a slight stain. As air filters build up a dirt layer on them, they actually become better filters because the dirt layer can trap a smaller particle than does a brand new filter. So, these institutions (such as school systems) dutifully set up contracts to change filters every three months, even if the filters are good for several months to go.

Now, of course, there comes a point where you can put a strain on the air handling system if you let the filters get too dirty. You need to inspect the filters every three months, but change them out only if they are dirty. If you let them get too dirty, you will develop too high a differential pressure across the filter and put a strain on the blowers.

It takes some common sense, something in scant supply these days.

jcreigns4us
15
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jcreigns4us 04/02/13 - 10:56 pm
0
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dirty is right!

you are right! when things get dirty, the dirt only builds up....that sums up the whole CCBOE system in general! I think they should fire them all and start from the ground up! And the first new rule they should put in place....no relatives (by blood or marriage) should work in the same building. The second rule they should put in place...no life long, high school classmates should work in the same building. It is a "good ole boy" system and they all protect one another and have been overcome with mediocre, corrupt leadership! My heart goes out to these teachers who are trying to educate our children with 32 kids per class and idiots at the school board hiring 14.91 staff members to handle a increase of 400 students. That is the most absurd thing I have heard....and these are the people making decisions regarding the education of our children and the future leaders of our nation!

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