BOE approves $4M tax anticipation note

Peach County school board members approved a tax anticipation note for $4 million to First State Bank in Stockbridge at their monthly meeting Tuesday night in a unanimous vote.

The tax anticipation note is a short-term low interest loan available to school systems to meet financial expenditures such as payroll and energy invoices.

Available through the General Fund, the loan, taken in $50,000 increments, is in anticipation of the taxes levied for the current fiscal year. The note is due and payable by Dec. 31 in the same calendar year the obligation occurs.

The school board members said they do not expect to borrow all, if any, of the approved amount. The note was approved as a precautionary measure, they said.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Susan Clark gave a presentation on an improvement plan for the school system. She stressed the importance of teachers challenging students in the classroom, emphasizing problem-solving tasks, as well as increased teacher collaboration at each grade level.

“We shouldn’t be surprised that students aren’t performing,” Clark said. “We aren’t asking enough.”

Clark also criticized the manner in which the data for standardized test scores is presented.

In her view, statistics often provide information that doesn’t result in action and singles out subgroups of students, such as African-Americans or disabled students, rather than individuals who are performing poorly.

“Appyling a one-size-fits-all solution to subgroups is a waste of time,” she said.

To more adequately address the needs of these students, Clark said teachers and administrators need to be able to identify each student who needs more academic assistance.

“Principals will know their names,” she said.

In other business:

Ÿ HE Hodge Co. was approved as the vendor for furniture, including desks and kitchen equipment, for Hunt Elementary and Kay Road Elementary for a bid of $265,483 in a unanimous vote.

Ÿ A resolution was passed authorizing the execution of a quitclaim deed for the old Fort Valley High School, allowing the Downtown Development Authority in Fort Valley to begin historic restoration on the property in a unanimous vote.

Ÿ Disposal of surplus media center equipment at Peach County High School was approved in a unanimous vote.

Ÿ The board approved June and July 2009 financial statements in a unanimous vote.

To contact Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.