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Students at two schools in Macon County will eat for free next year, thanks to a federally funded program. The CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) for the National School Lunch Program provides an alternative to household applications for free and reduced price meals for economically disadvantaged students in local educational agencies and schools. Essentially, this provision allows students in a qualifying school to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost.

According to Kim Terrell, school nutrition director, both Union Academy and East Franklin Elementary qualify for the program, and after receiving unanimous board approval last week, will start the program next year.

“I am very excited that our precious students will be given the opportunity to eat both breakfast and lunch at no cost,” said Becky Montgomery, lead teacher at East Franklin. “This is a real blessing for East Franklin School.”


How county contributions compare to state allocations.

Over the last 10 years, public education in North Carolina has shifted, as the state's structure has changed in order to accommodate for student enrollment growth, the rise of charter and virtual schools, and other factors that have caused state dollars to be stretched a little further.

Looking at data over the last decade, school enrollment in Macon County has increased by about 250 students. Funding from the state has gone from $20.3 million in 2005 to $24.6 million in 2014 with a difference of more than $3 million between 2008 and 2009. On the local level, beginning in 2007, the county provided $6 million, and by 2014, was up to $7.3 million. After the jump is a look at public education funding in Macon County over the last 10 years.


Upset bids ramping up costs associated with the sale.

Cullasaja School has sat empty and on the market for years. When the school system finally received the first bid on the property back in December, they never imagined that in May, they would still be going through the bidding process.

On December 1, the school system received the first bid for the Cullasaja School property in the amount of $75,000. Since the initial bid, 12 upset bids have been submitted from four different bidders, driving the bid up to $161,878.10. Each time an upset bid is received, it has to be advertised for 10 days, and all interested bidders have to be notified by the school system's attorney John Henning Jr., before the next bid can be accepted.


Western Carolina University will hold three commencement ceremonies over a two-day period – Friday and Saturday, May 8-9 – to recognize the academic achievements of what is expected to be the university’s fourth-straight record spring graduating class.

Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be held at 7 p.m. May 8. Commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Allied Professions, and Fine and Performing Arts will begin at 10 a.m. May 9, and that event will be followed the same day by a 2 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences, and Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology. All the ceremonies will take place at Ramsey Regional Activity Center.


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