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At Monday’s school board meeting, Macon County Schools Finance Director, Angie Cook, reported on the $1.26 million the district will be required to return to the state out of its $24.77 million allocation.

According to Cook, the allocation already reflected budget cuts which affected programs such as driver’s education. To compensate for the 5 percent reversion, Macon County reconfigured the budget and “trade in” 19 teaching position salaries and one principal’s salary.


Whether or not classes at Macon County schools will start as scheduled on Aug. 4 remains to be seen.

At a special called meeting on July 18, the Macon County Board of Education passed a resolution in support of the 2011-2012 school calendar and authorizing its attorney to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the calendar and this year’s school start date.


The newest government target for budget cuts may soon be affecting local community colleges. Many Western North Carolina colleges are being considered for a possible merge including Southwestern Community College (SCC).

The N.C. General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division (PED) has released a report evaluating the cost of the N.C. Community College system. According to the report, if 22 community colleges with less than 3,000 full time students merged with a larger community college within a 30-mile radius, $5.1 million could be saved annually in administrative costs and around $3.5 million saved in other costs. Smaller community colleges have a higher administrative cost per student than larger schools so by merging nearby community colleges, the administrative cost would be reduced without having to close any campuses.


“Status quo” isn’t in Don Tomas’ vocabulary.

“We figured Dr. Tomas would be an excellent leader but we didn’t realize how fast he would hit the ground running,” said Conrad Burrell, chairman of Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees.

When he assumed his duties as Southwestern’s new president on July 1, Tomas immediately plunged into a whirlwind of activity.

That’s just his style, according to the athletic Tomas, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and his master’s in adapted physical education.


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