Possibility of closing Elcan-King Elementary?

Published 4:52 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

The Decatur County Board of Education will hold two public hearings this month in order to hold a full discussion about Superintendent Tim Cochran’s recommendation to close Elcan-King Elementary School.

Superintendent Tim Cochran spent the past few months presenting his ideas for consolidation to various public forums. Every school in Decatur County has more space than the system needs, however the State of Georgia does not cover anything that is overage. By eliminating some of these excess classrooms, Cochran believes the BOE could create potential savings.

Decatur County spends $228.47 per year, per student at Elcan-King Elementary and the school is continuously needing more.

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Cochran said in an earlier statement, “Space is great, if you can afford it, so we have to determine how much more we can pay for space that we technically do not have to have.”

After further determination, Cochran recommended to close Elcan-King and have the students who attend there now attend Jones Wheat, West Bainbridge, Potter Street or John Johnson, depending on their location.

However, Cochran realizes not everyone will be on board with these plans, which is why they will be hosting the public hearing. The hearing will be a place where individuals can ask questions or give their input, while being educated on the purpose behind this decision.

The public hearing will be the final step in order for the decision to be made. The decision would impact the next school year.

The meetings will be held Thursday, March 15, at 6 p.m. and Monday, March 26, at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be located at 507 Martin Street in Bainbridge. Guests who intend to speak will be asked to sign in prior to the meeting. Only the guests who have signed in will be allowed to address the BOE.

For individuals who have questions, comments or concerns that cannot attend the meeting, they are asked to send written comments to 100 S. West St. in Bainbridge or email reply@dcboe.com

The written questions and emails will not be read aloud at the meeting, but they will be passed onto the Board for discussion points.

Cochran hopes to see anyone there who may want to discuss the situation further or input ideas on how to better divide the students leaving.