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Long County adds soccer to athletics
MR BoELongCo
Long County Board of Education members listen to Max Deniston make a presentation about starting an ROTC program in Long County. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
The Long County Board of Education met Nov. 12 and decided to implement a soccer program for the 2008-09 school year.
“I have had several people ask me about us starting a soccer program, and we’ve talked about it, and I just want to know where it stands,” board member Linda DeLoach said. “It is sport which just about all children can participate in and I think we need to get one going.”
After a brief discussion, the board voted to start the program next year at the middle-school level, with the intent of offering it at the high-school level later.

Junior ROTC
The board also heard a presentation by Max Deniston about starting a Junior ROTC program.
“Our goal is to make young kids better citizens. We don’t push them into going into the Army, but to go to college or a trade school,” Deniston said.
He noted Long County applied for a grant in 2004 to fund a program, but said he would like them to consider resubmitting a second application for the 2008-09 school year.
The board thanked Deniston for making the presentation, but no decision was made during the meeting.

HB 900

There was quite a bit of conversation between all members of the board about the proposed HB 900 Resolution that’s being proposed by Georgia Speaker of the House Bill Richardson.
The proposed amendment to the state constitution would do away with property taxes, and instead have a higher sales tax and service fee to fund county services.
“As a board, I believe we need to get with our superintendent and put together a resolution in opposition to this bad policy,” board chairman Dempsey Golden said.
Superintendent Dr. Edwin Pope also questioned the merit of the proposal by saying, “This measure will hit the poor and the elderly the hardest and just about all local control over the schools would be over with.”
Some of the board members were unsure of their stance on the proposal and said they would need more information before they could support or oppose it.
“I can’t say I am for or against it until I have a better understanding of how it will effect our county, so I can’t vote for a resolution against it until I review more for myself,” board member Florence Baggs said.
The Bboard decided to conduct more research on the proposal themselves, and also have Pope gather information for a resolution for the members to review during the December meeting.

Report card

The board also heard a report on the 2007 Georgia Public Policy Foundation Report Card for Parents by Danna Rosenbaum and high school principal Dr Dolores Mallard.
The report takes statistical information from testing and evaluations of Georgia students, and transforms it into a numerical ranking of the 369 public schools.
According to the report, Long County High School ranked 92nd in the state.
Some of the other school rankings include Richmond Hill High School (80th), Statesboro High School (155th), Bradwell Institute (229th), Liberty County High School (248th), Wayne County High School (269th) and New McIntosh County Academy (336th).

Other business
• The board also appointed Eric Kasperian to the Long/Ludowici Public Library Board of Trustees and appointed Baggs to the Long County Sex Education Committee.
• The board also decided to visit all the schools on Dec. 6 to observe how they are operating.
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