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Richmond County school board to make decision on rightsizing Tuesday

Monday, March 10, 2014 5:52 PM
Last updated 10:29 PM
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The Richmond County Board of Education will decide whether to approve various school closure and merger proposals at a called meeting Tuesday.

The scenarios, pitched as a way to save money during a budget crisis while also boosting academic offerings, sparked major concerns from the public during four town hall meetings.

Last fall, the board launched the “rightsizing” process to allow education consultants to analyze county and school population data, birth rates and building use.

In January, consultant Bill Montgomery proposed the following scenarios to address under-enrollments and overcrowding at certain buildings and to prepare for projected enrollment shifts:

Close Collins K-8 School; close Murphey Middle and reconfigure T.W. Josey High into a 6-12 school; close Sego Middle and reconfigure Butler High into a 6-12 school; relocate Rollins Elementary to the Sego building; consolidate National Hills and Garrett elementary schools by closing National Hills; build a new K-8 school for west Augusta; and add a sixth grade to A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School.

Board member Frank Dolan said the changes are necessary to make best use of the facilities with less money while enrollments are shifting across the district. He said that some changes might be emotional for communities, but that there are few alternatives.

“Something has to be done,” Dolan said. “I’m just taking a pragmatic look at these buildings and locations and listening to these people who know what they’re talking about.”

At the town hall meetings held at Josey and Butler, parents overwhelmingly opposed the 6-12 configuration, fearing violence and teen pregnancy could result from blending sixth-graders with students as old as 20.

As a retired teacher, board member Barbara Pulliam said she can’t picture herself approving the scenarios as a whole.

Even though the district proposed using previously allocated capital projects funds to construct secluded middle school “wings” on the high schools, Pulliam said there are still issues with the 6-12 model.

She also said she has concerns about closing Collins, which has a rich history and is a central part of the community.

“I’m thinking about it all the way around,” Pulliam said. “I’m thinking about it from the parents’ view. I know what they got to do for economic purposes, but I still have questions.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Called meeting of the Richmond County Board of Education to vote on rightsizing scenarios

WHEN: 3 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Board of Education, 864 Broad St.

Comments (9) Add comment
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Pops
7796
Points
Pops 03/10/14 - 09:49 pm
5
2
Just do it......

please......stop with all the consulting and just do something.....

dichotomy
32154
Points
dichotomy 03/10/14 - 10:25 pm
5
2
Oh they are probably

Oh they are probably paralyzed now. Some people objected and used the words "black heritage". Now half of the school board is cowering in the corner and the other half is figuring out how much millage rate increase it would take to keep all the schools open.

I'm with you Pops.......School board, just execute the damned plan you paid the consultant to put together for you.

showboat
330
Points
showboat 03/10/14 - 11:55 pm
0
0
JUST DO AS THE HIGH PAID
Unpublished

JUST DO AS THE HIGH PAID CONSULTANT THAT YOU PAID THOUSAND OF DOLLARS RECOMMENDED AND CLOSE SOME OF THESE DANG SCHOOL AND SAVE MONEY.

triscuit
2997
Points
triscuit 03/11/14 - 12:22 am
1
1
Collins will be spared to

Collins will be spared to appease blacks, National Hills will be closed. Take it to the bank.

Riverman1
82447
Points
Riverman1 03/11/14 - 06:08 am
1
1
Keep Um All Open

Heck, just keep them all open. Spend money until there's not enough to pay Charles Larke's retirement anymore.

Bulldog
1319
Points
Bulldog 03/11/14 - 08:56 am
3
2
Maxed Out

Not to worry about increased taxes. The BOE is already maxed out at the state limit! Just goes to show how effectively you can cure educational problems by throwing money at them. The issue is not the school buildings, the teachers or the administration; it is the wide spread and pervasive lack of a sustainable culture by a substantial portion of the population. Until the leadership of our black community comes to grips with this basic truth AND begins to work to reform it, the children in our public schools will continue to develop as they have for the last 40 years.

seenitB4
85808
Points
seenitB4 03/11/14 - 10:24 am
1
1
Heh heh heh

I have 0 kids in richmond county schools....yippee

At one time I did & they truly missed a lot because of the STUPID decisions in RCty ....but, what goes around, comes around.

Sweet son
10110
Points
Sweet son 03/11/14 - 11:16 am
0
0
I'm with Pops! Just do it!

Any time changes are made some will not be happy. Triscuit made a good point about Collins remaining open and National Hills being closed. Wonder why? Blacks have played the card for Collins and we wouldn't want to damage anyone's heritage.

My elementary school is on the block and it surely will be closed and I don't like it but change is inevitable and I accept that!

internationallyunknown
4052
Points
internationallyunknown 03/11/14 - 01:27 pm
0
0
APPEASE THE WHITES

"Collins will be spared to appease blacks, National Hills will be closed. Take it to the bank."

National Hills was left open for many years to APPEASE THE WHITES. Garrett is located less than a mile away from NHES.

Your use of the "race card" has FAILED.

Do you know the history of Collins Elementary School? We can see that you do not.

Once again, GARRETT AND NATIONAL HILLS ARE BOTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. THEY ARE LOCATED LESS THAN A MILE APART.

louiemcman
64
Points
louiemcman 03/27/14 - 08:58 am
0
0
Please!

Call it what it is, DOWNSIZING. Enough with the political correct language.

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