Sharp move

The Covington News - - Opinion -

As Newton County Schools seeks to pare $9 mil­lion from its bud­get, one of the pro­pos­als on the ta­ble is to shut down the Sharp Learn­ing Cen­ter al­ter­na­tive school and re­place it with Om­buds­man, a pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion firm.

This one move could save nearly 20 per­cent of the cuts needed to the bud­get, about $1,941,962.

More im­por­tantly, a switch to Om­buds­man prom­ises a bet­ter aca­demic out­come for the trou­bled stu­dents it would serve, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from Newton Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Gary Mathews.

You can see our re­port on this pro­posal at Cov­

We were shocked to learn that there was an al­ter­na­tive such as this avail­able, and we’re glad that Om­buds­man, which has al­ready part­nered with 23 school dis­tricts in Ge­or­gia, is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by our school sys­tem.

Con­trol of the pro­gram would re­main lo­cal, as the school sys­tem would serve as the boss of Om­buds­man lo­cally. The school sys­tem would rec­om­mend place­ments there.

What’s es­pe­cially in­trigu­ing is Om­buds­man’s claim that 85 per­cent of stu­dents re­ferred to the pro­gram grad­u­ate. At Sharp, only half of se­niors grad­u­ated last year. That’s a big dif­fer­ence. If the cur­rent sys­tem is not work­ing to its best ca­pac­ity, it is time for change.

We en­dorse hav­ing a pri­vate firm takes over the al­ter­na­tive school pro­gram for Newton County.

We must have the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that the tax­pay­ers can af­ford for our county to grow, and this pro­pos­als cuts costs and im­proves per­for­mance.

It’s a sharp al­ter­na­tive all around.

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