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News Education

When Governor Pat McCrory signed the state’s new budget into law earlier this month, local school districts knew to expect budget cuts, but just how severe was unknown, until now.

Jackson County Superintendent Dr. Michael Murray informed his board that the recently approved state budget will force the county to exhaust the district’s fund balance to balance the books.

Murray explained that through the efforts of the previous administration, the school board, and administrators not rehiring, Jackson County has been able to save approximately $1.6 million for the district’s fund balance. “We have been using these “rainy day dollars” to maintain our programs/teacher assistants etc., without having to ask the county commissioners for additional dollars during my last three board budget presentations,” said Murray. “We have only asked them to hold us harmless without having to lay off any employees.”


SiteDart sponsors area students at this year’s Leadercast

With the theme of the 2014 Leadercast being "Beyond You," SiteDart sponsored teens from across WNC and invited them to attend the event, free of charge, to offer them the opportunity to expand the Beyond You mindset into their schools and community.

Beyond You is a heartbeat, a mindset, a critical behavior, an important thread in the fabric of a leader. It’s central to becoming a leader worth following, and that was the message that this year’s Leadercast event conveyed to all who attended.


  • Mountain View Intermediate - Wednesday, Aug. 20, 7 to 9 a.m. - Open House Drop-In; Friday, Aug. 22, 7 to 9 a.m. - Open House Drop-In. Muffins and juice will be served each day.
  • Highlands - Thursday, Aug. 21, 4 to 6 p.m. - Open House
  • Cartoogechaye - Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 to 7 p.m. - Orientation for kindergarten, parents only; Friday, Aug. 22, 9 to 11 a.m. - Orientation for kindergarten students; Thursday, Aug. 28, 6 to 7 p.m. - Open House for all grades.
  • East Franklin - Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. – Open House for first and second grades. Open House for third and fourth grade begins at 7 p.m.
  • Nantahala - Monday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m. - Open House for all.
  • South Macon - Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. - Open House for all.
  • Franklin High School Fine Arts Center - Tuesday, Aug. 19, 7 p.m., – Orientation for ninth graders and new 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.
  • Iotla Valley - Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. – Orientation for kindergarten. All other grades will have a Drop In orientation from 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Macon Middle School - Thursday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. – Orientation for seventh grade students and new eighth grade students.
  • Union Academy - No Open House or orientation scheduled at this time.

At the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, the Macon County Schools System was operating with 712 employees. From teachers to teacher assistants to media coordinators, to bus drivers, to central office staff, Macon County Schools was operating with the highest number of employees it has seen in recent years.

Just two years later, the employment level throughout the district is down by 58 employees, to the lowest level in recent memory, according to board members during Monday night’s monthly meeting, and with continued uncertainties surrounding state funding for public education, the coming year will likely see little improvement.


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