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Mornings unPHILtered - Superintendent gives schools update
Holloway: Giving Charter Conservatory funding unconstitutional
BOE-Holloway for Web
Lewis Holloway
    The first guest on Thursday's “Mornings unPHILtered” show was Lewis Holloway, superintendent of Bulloch County schools. Holloway covered a wide range of topics, including the lawsuit with the Charter school and school construction.
    Host Phil Boyum asked Holloway about the status of the suit filed against Statesboro's Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (CCAT).
    Holloway said Bulloch County and several other public school systems are challenging a ruling that takes funding away from the Bulloch school system. If let stand, Holloway said, it would cost the school system some $400,000. He said the Charter School Commission that made the recommendation is in violation of the state constitution.
    Holloway said he believes the state constitution very clearly says that all publicly funded schools must be placed under the control of the local school board. And that no funding for special schools may be awarded within a county without first going to the school board for a vote. This, Holloway stated, was not done.
    Holloway stated that Bulloch already has a school for special students, the Performance Learning Center, and that CCAT doesn't provide any services that the public schools can't or don't already perform. On top of that, he said, CCAT doesn't have to follow all of the same strictures right now that the rest of the public schools do.
    Holloway next spoke of how Southeast Bulloch Middle School teachers Patia Rountree and Mary Jones were selected to receive a Special Presidential Award and accompany a National Math Teacher group on a tour of China's Public Schools. They, he said, are a clear indication of the excellent teachers we have in our public schools.
    Talking about the concerns of some that our schools have too much administration, Holloway said people say this no matter what the economy is doing.
    Holloway said he has pared his staff down to four assistant superintendents, whose salaries are half paid by the state. Last year, the school board added a fifth assistant superintendent, Craig Liggett, who is in charge of making sure the latest technologies are available for the teachers and staff in the schools.
    The superintendent also said a rumor floating around he received a $15,000 raise is not true and that he and his staff were furloughed along with teachers and staff.
    Boyum light-heartedly asked Holloway what was wrong with an old-fashioned chalkboard and why these new classrooms needed so much technology. He explained that chalkboards are a thing of the past and new tools like smart-boards have made the classroom experience more interesting to the students. For instance, students can respond to questions with “clickers” that instantly register their answers on a computer screen, which allows teachers immediately correct mistakes and discuss why a student answered a question in a particular way. In addition, since kids have to register their answer, they can no longer hide in the back of the class.
    Holloway said construction at the new Sallie Z. and Julia P. elementaries and at Portal Middle/High School is coming in at or under budget, and on schedule. He said the Mattie Lively school population would be moved to the old Julia P. Bryant while the ground is cleared for a new school there.
    Holloway also said the new elementary schools would be able to absorb some of the overflow at Mill Creek and Langston Chapel Elementary Schools. Eventually, he said, the areas may have to be rezoned so that populations at the schools will have likewise numbers of students.
    Boyum next welcomed Eric Stetson, who plays the lead character in "The Elephant Man,” which will be shown this weekend at the Averitt Theater. This play is being performed by students from Georgia Southern University, although it is not a Georgia Southern theater department performance.
    The play is about a grotesquely deformed person, who was seen in a freak show by a doctor whom he took to a London hospital. From the hospital, his life changes dramatically. The play is run by “Theater South,” a student club at GSU, which is officially sanctioned by the college.
    The play will be shown on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., with tickets $5 for students with I.D. and $10 for general admission. Director Kenneth Wigley has led the students throughout their practices, and Stetson promises a wonderful theater experience.
    
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com