Clarke County Board of Education to Vote Upon Budget at Tonight’s Meeting

By Joy Bratcher

The Board of Education tonight will vote on the $130 million budget proposed by Superintendent Phillip Lanoue.

<http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/files/14/fy2016%20budget%20presentation%20final.pdf&gt;

Lanoue says the budget includes expenses needed to equip the renovated Clarke County High School and the rebuilding of Whitehead Elementary and Barnett Shoals Elementary schools.

A special purpose local option sales tax, SPLOST, financed the construction. In addition to the operating budget, the board will vote on matters related to the SPLOST tax

Construction began in mid 2014 on Clarke Central High School, Whitehead Road Elementary School, and Barnett Shoals Elementary School. At Clarke Central High School, a $30-million renovation and partial reconstruction is taking place according to the Clarke County School District Update presented in August of 2014.

<http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/files/4391/splost%20update%20presentation%2008%2D14%2D2014.pdf&gt;

Tonight, Lanoue will update the board on the construction.

Much of what has happened so far is demolition, but some of the restoration process is already finished. At the start of this school year, students seen restoration to their classrooms in the west wing second and third floors of the high school.

The wing’s classrooms have been expanded from 660 square feet to 930 square feet, Shearer’s article stated. This is to accommodate larger class sizes Clarke and other schools have been forced to form due to cutbacks in education funding.

Students at Whitehead Elementary will be anticipating a new building this fall as construction is scheduled to conclude in August. The new school will also be welcomed along with a new Barnett Shoals Elementary that will be finished at the end of 2015 and opened in January of 2016.

According to the budget presentation, the goals of the 2015-2016 budget also includes:

Goal I – Select, support and retain a highly dedicated, talented and diverse professional workforce.

Goal II – Create dynamic learning experiences for all students to close the achievement gap and to prepare them for college and careers.

Goal III – Strengthen neighborhood schools through strong collaborations with parent, district and community members to support student academic growth, socio-emotional development and physical well-being.

Goal IV – Strategically leverage resources to improve district programs and implement new initiatives.

Tonight’s meeting will begin at 6 pm at 240 Mitchell Bridge Road.

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