The new rate is slightly lower than the current rate of 18.82 mills.
According to Georgia law, the ad valorem tax millage rate has to be adopted prior to Aug. 1.
In other business, Curtis Jones turned the board’s attention to non-resident school tuition. All students -- from kindergarten to high school -- under Georgia law receive free public education when they reside in the same county in which they attend school.
However, if they reside outside of Spalding County yet want to attend a Spalding County school, they may be subject to tuition, given certain conditions. Previously, applicants who own property in Spalding were given priority in accepting their requests, based on a policy by the school system. But Jones advised the board to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act as well as Senate Bill 10 and give those students greater priority over property owners.
Since the board was informed about the agenda item on rather short notice, it decided, based on Jones’ suggestion, to review the issue and make a decision at the next meeting on Aug. 7.
The board also selected MEJA Construction Co. of Jackson to build Rehoboth Road Middle School. During a bid proposal meeting on July 19, it was determined that MEJA turned in the lowest bid, with a cost of $12,148,500, which is more than $200,000 less than the school system had estimated for the project.
“They (MEJA) are capable, and we feel good about that,” said Director of Construction and Facilities Bruce Ballard. MEJA has already built Kennedy Road Middle and Carver Road Middle. Rehoboth Road Middle is scheduled to open in March 2009.
“With this one, they have a little more time,” Ballard said.
In other business, Director of Teacher Quality Ellen Benton informed the board of the teacher induction program in Griffin-Spalding. The program aims to help new teachers in the system by continuously training them and acclimating them to the schools and the district.
According to a statistic provided by Benton, 33 percent of all qualified new teachers leave within the first three years, and 50 percent leave within the first seven years. On the other hand, 95 percent of the beginning teachers provided with adequate training and support stay for more than three years.
Principals at all Griffin-Spalding schools have selected two teachers each to attend county-level training to become Teacher Induction Specialists.