Study recommends merger - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Study recommends merger

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December 3, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Valdosta Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce task force on school unification has completed its study.

It has recommended to the board member of the Chamber to pursue unification of Lowndes County and Valdosta City Schools.

The board members of the Chamber are in full agreement that they should push for school consolidation in Lowndes County. They believe that combining the two school system would raise graduation rates and make for a better education Lowndes County.  

"66% is well below the averages in the state of Georgia. We know that a high school graduate is going to earn more money. If they earn more money they have more disposable income and provide better benefits for their families,"  said Chamber Chairman Walter Hobgood. 

The Chamber knows school unification would be a long difficult process but believe its what's best for the students in Lowndes county.

While the Chamber thinks school unification it in the best interest of the students in Lowndes county, Valdosta City Schools superintendent believes its not the right time to push the issue.

Dr. Bill Cason the says there would not be the benefits to area students that the Chamber claims would happen with school unification.  Cason was apart of a school consolidation in Troup county and thinks that both systems could perform better but unification is not the key.    

"It is a long process and having been through it before its not an easy process. I don't see any real advantages to unification of the schools at this point," Cason says.

Cason believes there are other ways to get graduation rates to rise other than a consolidated school system.

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