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Gainesville school board to discuss tax rate
Meeting is set for 6 tonight
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Gainesville City Schools Board of Education meeting

When: 6 tonight
Where: Gainesville City Schools Board Office, 508 Oak St., Gainesville
Contact: 770-536-5275

Gainesville City Schools Board of Education members have a lot to talk about at their meeting tonight, including the final adoption of the millage rate.

The millage rate is 7.39 mills, which is 0.3 mills less than the 2011 rate.

The reduction in millage will save taxpayers about $30 on a $100,000 house. Millage is assessed at 100 percent in the city.

The operations and maintenance millage is 7.39 and the school debt millage is zero, as the board paid off its debt in January.

One mill equals $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.

The biggest portion of the meeting will be in regard to Georgia Senate Bill 186.

"Student achievement will be the meat of the meeting," Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. "We're going to go over the shift of high school students. The whole way that high school is taught will change. ... (We'll talk about) how we approach the transition of Gainesville High School becoming a career academy."

Some of the high school programs have already expanded to reflect the transition, but others have difficulties to address.

Dyer said these changes have to do with the Common Core Curriculum which will be implemented in the next few years. Unlike Georgia Performance Standards, which teach kids things set by the state, Common Core is a nationwide initiative.

The changes also deal with the index of college readiness, which has students preparing for college and careers sooner.

"We need to prepare middle school parents. This isn't something for some children, it's for all children," Dyer said.

She said college readiness no longer means students can't be in the mindset of taking only difficult courses any longer. They need to have job-related skills in their high school years.

"Thirty-three percent of college graduates don't have technical skills to get a job," Dyer said. "This will prepare students earlier to start thinking about careers."

Dyer said the school board will also sign off on final Adequate Yearly Progress tonight.

Four of six Gainesville City Schools made AYP after preliminary results were released earlier this year.

Wood's Mill Academy did not make AYP in math and Gainesville Middle School did not make AYP in two categories.

"(Gainesville Middle) remains as a Needs Improvement III school," Dyer said. "They will receive additional school improvement funds."

Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy and Gainesville High School did not make initial AYP but were able to improve over summer re-testing to make it this time around.

"The data in every school, in almost every area, shows we improved," Dyer said. "Our efforts to do that are beginning to show results."