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Hall County teachers get $100 cards to buy school supplies
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Hall County classroom teachers will be able to buy $100 worth of school supplies for their classrooms and students, thanks to a renewal of an old idea.

Teachers can get a supply card from the school district Friday, Superintendent Will Schofield said after the board approved the idea, which will cost about $190,000.

The state’s tax-free holidays are Saturday and Sunday.

The cards are limited to classroom teachers. The district provided cards in 2013, Lee Lovett, deputy superintendent, said.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue included the cards in his budget for a few years.

Schofield recommended the board buy the cards as another way to support teachers. He said teachers commonly spend “several hundred dollars” on school materials.

Conditions for the cards are teachers to sign when receiving cards to acknowledge what can and can’t be purchased, use cards before Aug. 31 and turn in receipts and unused cards by Aug. 31 for audit purposes. Administrators in schools are not eligible for the cards.

Schofield said supplying the cards is another symbol that the district, and school board, will “do everything possible” to support its teachers.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

• Eloise Barron, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, reported the district will start the process this year of developing a “common language” about instruction. Schofield called the effort “a crystal clear articulation” of the district’s “learning targets.” He added the effort “has to be something we do over and over again.” Lovett told the board the district ended the fiscal year June 30 with a fund balance of $29,174,964. That was the beginning balance for the FY17, Schofield said. Lovett said the district received 1.5 percent more money than was budgeted and spent 1.7 percent less than budgeted in the FY 16 budget.

• The board agreed to start the process of hiring a contractor to replace all the lights in school gyms with LED bulbs. Schofield said the payback for the cost of the lights is estimated to be eight years, and the bulbs have an anticipated life of about 10 years.

• The board approved buying 320,000 to 360,000 gallons of diesel fuel with futures contracts at a price of $1.80 to $1.96 a gallon. That would be nearly enough fuel for the school district to get through the 2016-17 year. Schofield told the board the district would spend $300,000 to $500,000 less than it has budgeted for the fuel with the purchase.

• The board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 8 in a closed session for the annual evaluation of Schofield. Board members filled out surveys about the superintendent, and those results will be compiled into an overall survey.

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