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Board cuts two positions; cost of school lunches going up to $2 for students

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By The Staff

By JUDY UNDERWOOD

Morgan County News Editor

With state and federal cuts and the rising cost of everything, the Morgan County Board of Education has been going through its proposed budget for 2008-09 looking for places to cut some $382,000.

The Board cut about $100,000 from its budget last week but those cuts came from places Director of Schools Mike Davis did not recommend.

Chairman of the Board Terry Armes introduced two cuts that were approved with the support of board members Glen Moore, Jim Rivers and Andy Lowe. Only Randy Harlan and Louise Coleman voted against those particular cuts.

Armes’ motion eliminated two positions in the Morgan County Schools Central Office, the supervisor of instruction and the attendance technology position.

The technology position is a contract position held by Lee Coleman, husband of Sunbright’s board member Louise Coleman. According to information Armes shared during Thursday night’s meeting, Lee Coleman has been earning $35 an hour for his services to the schools.

Supervisor of Attendance Ronnie Wilson encouraged the Board not to make the cut. He said that the work Coleman does keeping the county’s attendance records and providing other technological support is highly beneficial and crucial to meeting the state’s attendance guidelines.

Mike Davis said the same about the position of supervisor of instruction. Judy Hurst moved into that position two years ago from the principal’s slot at Central Middle school. Prior to that the assistant director of schools had taken on a dual role. Davis said following the meeting that he doesn’t see how the county can keep up with the requirements of No Child Left Behind and meet adequate yearly progress without Hurst overseeing it every step of the way.

The board was scheduled to meet with county commission on Tuesday night. During that meeting they planned to ask that they be forgiven their $200,000 payment on the school debt for one year to help offset the budget shortage. That meeting had not taken place at press time.

Also, students will see an increase in what they pay for meals next school year. Lunch prices will go to $2 for all students.