Floyd BOE talks im­pact of po­ten­tial Ham­mond clos­ing

School sys­tem of­fi­cials are also look­ing at chang­ing the 2018-2019 cal­en­dar to help with en­roll­ment counts and in­crease in­struc­tion time.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Spencer Lahr Night Ed­i­tor SLahr@RN-T.com

The Floyd County school sys­tem stands to lose $1.5 mil­lion in tax rev­enue if Ge­or­gia Power’s Plant Ham­mond were to shut­ter, sys­tem of­fi­cials said dur­ing a called board meet­ing Thurs­day.

Ge­or­gia Power an­nounced ear­lier this month it is cut­ting 80 jobs at the plant. Floyd County Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent John Jack­son said he isn’t privy to any in­for­ma­tion that con­firms the plant is clos­ing, but since “Ge­or­gia Power is re­duc­ing the ca­pac­ity at that plant … we’re just do­ing worstcase sce­nario.”

“I think they’re go­ing to go to pur­chas­ing power on the open mar­ket and phase out that plant,” he said. “So we’re an­tic­i­pat­ing that even­tu­ally they will close the plant down. We’re hop­ing they don’t.”

The school sys­tem’s 18.58 mill­age rate gen­er­ates over $4 mil­lion from Ge­or­gia Power prop­erty in Floyd County, Jack­son said.

Chip Hood, board of ed­u­ca­tion chair­man, said that even if Plant Ham­mond closes, the school sys­tem would still be able to draw money from other tax­able as­sets the util­ity has in the county.

Sys­tem of­fi­cials also are con­tem­plat­ing a de­vi­a­tion from the norm when it comes to the 2018-2019 school year cal­en­dar, with the ma­jor changes pro­posed be­ing the push­ing back of fall break by a week and spring break by two weeks.

Un­der one of the three po­ten­tial op­tions for the cal­en­dar is the reschedul­ing of fall break from the first week in Oc­to­ber to the sec­ond week. The move would al­low for the school sys­tem to re­main open on Oct. 2, 2018, dur­ing the full-time en­roll­ment count day, which is used to fig­ure state fund­ing per stu­dent based on the classes stu­dents take on that date.

Ac­cord­ing to Jack­son, the shift is purely “a fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion for us.”

“We’ve lost some money be­cause of that be­cause we’ve had fall break on that count day,” he shared, adding that the Oc­to­ber count day is the first of three where the sys­tem must re­port their en­roll­ment.

Jack­son ex­plained the is­sue through an ex­am­ple, if a Floyd County stu­dent is in the process of trans­fer­ring to an­other school sys­tem, say Rome City, and Floyd County Schools are closed on the count day and don’t claim them, then Rome can.

Floyd County Schools can claim the stu­dent the week af­ter, but at that point they are sec­ondary to who­ever claims the stu­dent first, he added.

“If Rome City then claims him dur­ing that week, then they get the money for that stu­dent even though he’s been with us since the very begin­ning of the school year up un­til that time,” Jack­son said. “The rea­son why it’s wiser and smarter to have (fall break) on the sec­ond week is if you’ve got a stu­dent that you need to go ahead and claim on that count date, we’re go­ing to be in school and we’ll be open.”

Un­der the same cal­en­dar op­tion, spring break in 2019 would be the sec­ond week in April as op­posed to the 2018 break the last week of March. Jack­son said in­put from teach­ers in­di­cates mov­ing spring break to April would help boost in­struc­tion time by open­ing up al­most all of March — there would be one teacher plan­ning day that stu­dents would have off.

The su­per­in­ten­dent said al­ter­ing the sys­tem’s sched­ule would “break stride” with Rome City Schools. The Rome City board of ed­u­ca­tion ap­proved its sys­tem’s 20182019 cal­en­dar last month, keep­ing fall break in the first week of Oc­to­ber and spring break the last week in March.

Jack­son will likely rec­om­mend the cal­en­dar change for ap­proval dur­ing the May 2 board meet­ing, which will be held in the board­room of the cen­tral of­fice, 600 River­side Park­way, start­ing at 6 p.m., with the cau­cus at 5 p.m.

The board also ap­proved over 30 per­son­nel changes, which in­cludes the ad­di­tion of five speech-lan­guage pathol­o­gists.

John Jack­son, Floyd County Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent

Chip Hood, Floyd BOE chair­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.