A tentative millage rollback, adequate yearly progress reports and the future of the Columbia County school system's prekindergarten program highlighted the agenda of the school board meeting on Tuesday.
The board unanimously approved a tentative millage rollback from 17.18 to 17.09 mills in its $166 million budget for 2007-08. Superintendent Tommy Price said the rollback would require a 4.57 percent increase in property taxes. Property taxes would increase by 5.12 percent without the rollback, according to school system documents.
"Let's face it. It's the right thing to do. We've got a balanced budget," said board member Mike Sleeper.
Sleeper and fellow board member Wayne Bridges sported bow ties in honor of Price, who led his last meeting as superintendent.
The preliminary adequate yearly progress reports were equally promising.
Price said the reports indicate that the county's 27 schools all met adequate yearly progress for the first time since the No Child Left Behind law was enacted five years ago.
He also said that Harlem Middle School came off the needs improvement list.
"I doubt many systems our size in Georgia can say they're all proficient," Price said.
The board also discussed the future of its prekindergarten program.
A proposal to eliminate the program from the county's public schools beginning in 2008-09 has been tabled since this spring. However, the board agreed to bring the issue to a vote at its July 10 meeting.
Mildred Blackburn, the board's vice chairwoman, said she would like more information about expanding the program.
Board members also said they did not want to make a decision without input from the vacationing Charles Nagle, who is taking the reins as superintendent effective today.
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