Worth County school board members plan to vote Tuesday night on a plan that would let children who live on the Marine Corps Logistics Base to continue attending school in Worth County.
The formality vote comes as the school system is backtracking from a vote to prevent base kids from attending Worth County schools.
Board members say that policy was costing the school system money and could have led to a tax increase.
Worth County school superintendent Dr. Barbara Thomas refused to do an interview Monday, saying she was late to a meeting. This was just hours before the school system announced their tentative agreement with the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
The agreement centers around whether to allow nearly 60 students who live on the base to continue attending Worth County Schools.
On Friday, the board announced their decision to suspend the policy because it was too costly for the system to have MCLB students attend Worth County schools. This news caused outrage among parents on the base.
Over the weekend, Col. Don Davis, Commanding Officer of MCLB voiced his concerns about the decision, saying, "there's just different solutions that we need to discuss before we just completely cut the program and tell 57 students, 17 days before school starts, this is not your school anymore."
But as of Monday the school system is listening. The Worth County board of education sent out a statement saying, " Worth County schools and the base had a long lasting relationship and look forward to continuing that relationship. Further discussions will take place with M-C-L-B and W-C-S about a possible stipend for future enrolled students."
MCLB says they are encouraged by the dialogue. He notes that it is his job to make sure students on the base have choices.
"we've got parents that are deploying this fall whose kids have to deal with mom or dad going into harms way. Marines fight fiercely to defend the country, to defend our community. So you can just imagine how important it is for their children and education," says Col. Davis.
While the school system announced its agreement with MCLB Monday afternoon, but it still must be approved by the board.
The board will consider requiring a stipend for new MCLB student enrollments.
Here's the Worth County School System news release:
Sylvester, Georgia-July 15, 2013 – Officials from MCLB and Worth County Schools communicated today via telephone conference. A tentative agreement pending board approval was made between WCS and MCLB to accept students who have been currently enrolled in Worth County Schools. WCS and MCLB have had a long lasting relationship and look forward to continuing that relationship.
Further discussions will take place with MCLB and WCS about a possible stipend for future enrolled students. The Worth County Board of Education will hold a called meeting on July 16, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the suspension of a component of Policy JBCB (Nonresident Students) that allowed "students whose parents are soldiers living on the military base" to attend Worth County Schools.
Here's the MCLB news release:
Worth County Board of Education to grandfather currently enrolled students
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE Albany, Ga. – Marine Corps Logistics Base leadership and Worth County educators came to a tentative agreement, pending school board approval, to grandfather currently enrolled students and continue to work toward a solution for future enrollment of military children in Worth County schools today in a teleconference between the two parties.
"We are encouraged by the dialogue today with Worth County and are grateful of their decision to grandfather our military children currently enrolled in their schools," Col. Donald J. Davis, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, said. "We look forward to working with them to find the right solution for the way ahead in future school years. Their personal care and concern for the student's well-being and educational success truly guided their decision and we are very appreciative to their educators and all educators in Dougherty, Lee and Worth counties for the options they extend to our military students."
Memorandums of Agreement are maintained with surrounding counties and their respective school systems to afford options to military dependents of school age to enroll in and attend area public schools.
The ability to have options provides students with the opportunity to get the best education possible, directly contributing to the success of local communities, counties and the country; as the children are the future.
"I would like to personally thank our local educators, the local communities, counties and the city of Albany. We sustain our strong personal and professional relationships, those established and maintained since 1952, through our communication efforts toward the greater good and today was an example of just that," Davis said.