At the Liberty County Board of Education regular Oct. 23 work session, the board voted to raise the millage rate to 16.50 mills for 2018. Other agenda items included approving a GPS system for their fleet, and receiving updates concerning construction and education.
The district held the required hearings to increase the millage, citing a need for positive cash inflow to the district, Interim Chief Operations Officer Jason Rogers said. The increase comes from the fear of losing essential funding, according to Interim Director of Finance Janine Graham.
“This year, we’ve seen a decline in our percentages,” Graham said. “Which could lead to us being less heavily impacted. One of the things we’re concerned about is that our impact aid monies will decrease.”
LCSS anticipated a drop in its impact aid, so the increase is to remain proactive. The increase, however, will affect local property taxes, causing a 5.51 percent increase, according to Graham.
In other school board business, the board received updates from Rogers about upcoming construction projects, and about the Liberty County Career Academy from the Chief Executive Officer of LCCA Karisa Young.
Currently, LCCA has 15 Liberty County School System faculty and five Savannah Technical College faculty teaching at the facility, Young said. The total student enrollment in 2017-18 was 831 students, and the academy offered 18 different pathways.
“Some high school CTAE (career, technical, agricultural education) pathways include culinary arts, graphic arts and communications, construction, gaming,” Young said. “We also have engineering, which received a Project Lead the Way grant earlier this year, and it allowed the program to grow.”
LCCA also offers dual enrollment pathways, like welding, aviation, cosmetology, automotive and others, Young said. LCCA partners with places like Gulfstream Aerospace to allow students to get real-life experience working with the companies. There is also dual enrollment courses offered, which differ from pathways. These core courses are those that would be taken in a traditional school setting, Young said. There’s English, psychology, sociology, humanities, public speaking and college and career readiness, she continued.
“Those who have taken our College and Career Readiness course have said that it really benefitted them,” Young added.
LCCA conducts ongoing recruitment activities in an attempt to draw more students to the center, Young said.“We hold open houses, building tours, parent and student information nights,” Young said. “High school visits and social media really helps too.” For more information on LCCA, visit www.libertycca.org.