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Jefferson school board submits letter to be charter

POSTED: April 10, 2009 12:06 a.m.

The Jefferson City Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to move forward with possibly transitioning to a charter school system

During the school board’s meeting, the group voted to submit a letter of intent to the Georgia Department of Education, stating the system’s desire to potentially move forward with obtaining charter status.

"This is a nonbinding letter, but it must be submitted to the state by May 1 if we would even like to have the option of moving forward with the charter system," said John Jackson, school system superintendent.

The board still will have the option to not
pursue charter status. Should the board decide to move forward with the process, they will have to submit an application to the state in the fall. Any changes to the school system’s status wouldn’t take place until the 2010-11 school year.

During the school board’s meeting, Jackson also updated the group about the system’s current budget projections.

According to Jackson, the system is projected to spend less than was originally budgeted by about $510,000.

"Unfortunately, we’re expected to have a projected revenue shortfall of around $724,000," Jackson said.

Like other school systems in Georgia, Jefferson officials still are waiting to learn how the system will be affected by state budget cuts.

Jackson also told the board that 90 percent of local taxes have been collected, which leaves an unpaid tax balance of about $589,000.

Even as the school board remains unsure about financing for the current fiscal year, the system’s resources continue to be stretched. According to system transportation director Earl Griffin,, 10 more students have started riding the bus, which brings the total of new bus riders since Christmas Break to 54. The additional students have caused the transportation department to add extra routes to accommodate the new riders.

The school board also accepted Sherrie Gibney-Sherman’s retirement request. Gibney-Sherman is the current associate superintendent for instruction and will retire at the end of this school year. She will be replaced by Donna McMullan, who is the current director of middle and secondary instruction.

The board also accepted the resignations of a high school math and two elementary school teachers. The math position also was filled during the meeting.



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