2010-05-06 / Front Page

Facility can remain a high school; state to decide on advance funding

The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) notified Lincoln County School Superintendent Randall Edmunds that the local board of education has the option to house high school students at the new school, currently under construction, and to allow middle school students to remain at the present campus.

At the board’s April 13 meeting, Dr. Edmunds said, “According to Ms. Jackson (Lynn Jackson, associate superintendent for business operations for the GADOE), since our application for state funding for the new school was made for grades 6- 12, we have to house those grades there in order not to lose some of the state money.”

He noted that he was led to led to believe that even though the application specified grades 6-12, the local board could make the decision as to where to house the students, without jeopardizing state funding.

The system received $7.7 million from the state for the new school.

In a letter e-mailed to Dr. Edmunds on Thursday, April 29, Jackson wrote: “I would like to clarify the Georgia Department of Education’s position regarding the grade configuration of Lincoln County schools for the 2010-2011 school year.

“As I said at your board of education meeting, the decision of where to place your students lies wholly with the Lincoln County Board of Education. As a result, you may house your high school students in the new building and your middle school students in the old. Please be aware that the maintenance of the old building will have to be funded without state support.

“We are in the process of investigating the most appropriate way to address the issue of advance funding. We will continue to be in touch with you and your office to keep you aware of our progress.”

If the state decides to make the system pay back a portion of the $7.7 million, it has been speculated that the board could use the $3 million in contingency funds in the construction account for the new school for this purpose.

“I’m pleased that the state department of education has agreed that the local board can decide where to house students,” said Dr. Edmunds. “I feel that it is in the best interest of our students for the middle grades to be separated from the older high school students.”

As for the LCMS campus, the superintendent stated, “There are no major renovations planned except for normal maintenance and repair. Our only significant expense will be replacing the roof on the cafeteria and the middle school wings. We’ve been talking about using contingency money for this project as well.”

The details of the GADOE’s decision regarding the advanced funding the system received from the state for the new school will be published as soon as they become available.

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