The Long County Board of Education could soon vote not to increase taxes and might even roll back its millage rate by .004 of a mill next month.
The school board voted Monday to advertise its current 2017 tax digest and five-year history of levy, as well as the board’s intention to set the mill rate on Sept. 11.
The 2016 millage rate was 13.483. School board members are considering approving a 13.479 millage rate for 2017.
District administrators also briefed board members on students’ 2016-17 Georgia Milestones test results, which showed improved scores for most grades and subjects over a three-year period. College and Career Ready Performance Index 2016-17 test results won’t be released until October or November,school officials said.
“There’s nothing embarrassing about these scores,” School Board Chairwoman Florence Baggs said. She stated on behalf of the board, that members want teachers to tell them how they can help to improve student scores.
Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Janet Poole told the BoE that the system’s focus has been to decrease the number of students who did not demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary for their particular grade level and course of learning. She explained that the Georgia Milestones Achievement Levels are divided into four categories: beginning learners, developing learners, proficient learners and distinguished learners.
Third and fourth graders’ scores did not show as much improvement as did scores for students in fifth through eighth grades in English/language arts and math. This could be attributed to third and fourth graders not being fully prepared to take the entire test online, according to Poole. However, teachers are ready this year to help students better prepare for online testing with more opportunities for online testing practice, Poole said.
High school students’ Georgia Milestones scores showed marked improvement, especially in biology and physical science, according to Poole. In 2015 and 2016, 40 percent tested at the beginning learner level in biology. In 2017, only 16 percent were categorized as beginning learners. In 2015, 21 percent of students tested as proficient in biology. In 2016, 27 percent were deemed proficient, and in 2017 that number rose to 40 percent.