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School board candidates talk budget
Candidates seeking Republican nominations for the Glynn County Board of Education voiced their views Wednesday on a wide variety of issues facing local public education during a forum at College of Coastal Georgia.

Two of the most talked about issues were the school system budget and the use of block scheduling at the two high schools.

When asked about combining high schools and reducing top-level administrators to save money, candidates did not agree.

Earl Perry, a candidate in District 1 in north Glynn County and a former board member, said high school consolidation was considered when he was on the board, but the community did not want it.

District 1 candidate Ingrid Metz said combining high schools would be difficult when Golden Isles Career Academy is turning into the county's third high school. She said there are too many non-essentials within the system, and cutting back to put more time and money into teachers and classroom instruction will improve teacher morale and the learning environment.

District 3 incumbent John Madala, on the northeast mainland, agreed that combining high schools would be an unpopular decision. He added that the number of top-level administrators has decreased the past several years.

Noel Jensen, a District 3 candidate, said the system is clearly top heavy. He added that before high schools are combined as a cost-saving measure, he would like to pay closer attention to costs in current construction projects. He said an auditorium for bus driver meetings and showers in a new transportation building are unnecessary.

Prospective board members were also asked if they would reconsider dropping high school block scheduling to save money.

Dee Rogers, District 5 candidate in the city, said if it is not cost effective, remove it.

At-large Post 2 candidate L.A. Chancey said she is not very familiar with block scheduling, but she would seek to determine if it works for students and teachers while also being cost effective.

Jerry Mancil, At-large Post 2 incumbent and current board chairman, said the decision to move to block scheduling was made before he went on the board. He added that cost is not the only measure when considering schedules. Mancil said he would like to see measurable data to see if it is helping student achievement.

District 1 incumbent Ray Snow said it may cost a little more, but added that end-of-course test scores and graduation rates are up while dropout rates are down under block scheduling.

Larry Lynch, At-large Post 2 candidate, was not at the forum because of family member's surgery in Atlanta.

District 5 incumbent Venus Holmes, the only Democrat seeking election and who is unopposed in a primary, also did not attend.

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