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Lincoln schools take hit

The Board of Education reviewed proposed state education budget cuts and additions and discussed their impact on the Lincoln County school system at their planning session on Friday.
Board members were told that the state has proposed to cut over $11 million in funds for student accountability.
“What that does to us is we’ll have less money to work with children who are below grade level,” said Superintendent Jim Watson.
Lincoln County students will receive less before and after school tutoring due to the budget cut.
The technology fund for the school system will also be cut, although the state house and senate currently disagree over how much.
The house hopes to cut approximately $2,336,000 from the budget and the senate has proposed a $5 million cut.
“We need to take care of ourselves in this area,” said Watson. “You can’t count on the state.
The Lincoln County school system has a local technology budget of $63,000.
The state House and Senate have both agreed on a cut of over $1.5 million for textbooks.
“It’s frustrating to see any cuts in that area,” said Watson.
Even with the cuts, Watson believes this has been a successful year for the school budget.
The Board of Commissioners approved the local budget, which allows the school system to have new art, music and Academically and Intellectually Gifted teachers, as well as second grade tutors and larger teacher supplements.
School officials are hopeful that the state legislature will approve the budget before school begins in August.
The following issues were also covered at Friday’s board planning session:
· Joan Avery, a member of the Board of Education, requested that board members receive a personnel list two weeks before each Board of Education meeting so board members could have more time to review it.
The personnel list states those who the school system plans to hire or terminate.
Requiring that each list be presented to board members at least two weeks before their monthly meetings would cause terminating and hiring employees in the school to become a slower process.
The Board of Education voted to turn down Avery’s request.
“We should have trust in the administration’s ability to do this,” said board member Tommy Houser.
· The Board of Education unanimously voted to extend the Lincoln County’s superintendent for an additional year.
Watson’s contract will now end in 2008.by Sarah Grano

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