School board narrowly approves class size exemptions

Matthew Strother

March 21, 2014

The Board of Education narrowly approved a resolution to allow more students per class for the next school year.

The state Board of Education had given authority to local school boards to decide the maximum class size exemptions over state limits. The resolution passed by board members Thursday included the following exemptions:

• One to four students in grades K‐12 in regular education; and classes for English Language Learners (ELL), gifted, Early Intervention Program (EIP), Remedial Education Program (REP) and vocational (CTAE).

• One to five students in the Alternative Education Program (AEP) at HOPE Academy.

• One to two students in special education classes.

Board member Ashley Adams said she could not support the resolution when it came up for a vote.

“As a parent I have a fourth grader in one of these classes, this is just too close to the limit,” she said. “…. I really wish we would reconsider.”

Board member Allen Simpson also objected.

“I have difficulty to this as well,” he said.

Board chairman Sheila Rowe replied: “Well, I understand and I appreciate the comments. We would all love smaller class sizes, but what we would like and what we can afford sometimes are two different things.”

She said the reduction of state funds has forced the school system to make choices, and this is one it has to consider.

The board voted 3-2 for the class size exemption with Simpson and Adams opposed.

In other business, the board approved:

• A purchase order to CDW-G for $60,000 to purchase of a new SonicWall SuperMassive 9400 network firewall for the school system.

• Accepting a grant of $44,000 from the Troup High Alumni Association Inc. to fully fund the purchase and installation of a LED school sign.

• A purchase order for $67,900 to Altec Nueco for an aerial lift to replace a faulty one for the maintenance department.

• A purchase order for $33,648 to West Georgia Roofing II Inc. to repair the roofing at Whitesville Road Elementary School, which needs immediate repair work in several areas, officials said.

• Extending Superintendent Cole Pugh’s contract for one year based upon his satisfactory annual evaluation by the board.

• Renewing the membership contract for Regional Education Service Agency, or RESA, for fiscal year 2015. The Troup County School System is assigned to West Georgia RESA toreceive professional learning and other consulting services.