MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Bibb County Superintendent, Dr. Romain Dallemand, promised a complete transformation of the school district when he came on board and Friday he delivered on that promise. Dallemand outlined a strategic plan to the school board called "Macon Miracle" that includes school closures and job cuts. While some say the plan looks like a great fix others call it unrealistic.
"Everybody keeps dancing around that subject and we go from one plan to another, but in the mean time we're constantly losing our children, they're constantly dropping out. And nobody can give me an answer. What are you doing for the children right now?," said Marie Harris of Macon.
Harris likes much of Superintendent Dallemand's strategic plan, but the Bibb County parent worries the plans long term approach will not help the children of today.
Dallemand's Macon Miracle plan, which spans over the next 5-7 years, calls for closing up to 12 schools between 2013 and 2018 and the plan reduces 323 teaching positions through attrition. Through facility closures, classroom sizing, teacher and staff reductions Dallemand estimates the district will save $23.3 million.
Dallemand's hope is to make the district more efficient and keep money in taxpayer's hands.
"This is a possibility where five years from now, of giving back to the taxpayers, where we can reduce our millage rate by somewhere around 4 points," said Dallemand.
Bibb County's graduation rate last year was 48% and there were more than 7,900 students with out of school suspensions. Dallemand's plan focuses on prevention of discipline issues when children are younger through a more intensive counseling process and targeting at risk students.
The plan would change schools to block scheduling and the age range of schools to K-3rd grade in Elementary, 4th through 7th grade in middle school and 8th through 12th grade in High School. Some board members say the plan lacked a strong discipline approach, especially in light of the rape case at Northeast High School.
"It didn't address discipline. That seems to be one of the biggest problems in our school. And there were a lot of pie in the sky things in the future but we've got a lot of kids now that are struggling," said Board Member, Gary Bechtel.
Other board members praised Dallemand's plan, saying it's a holistic approach and newer ideas are better for the county.
"We didn't need a band-aid on our problems we need our problems excised and so this strategic plan makes a step toward excising all our demons and all our failures in our district over the last 50-60 years," said Board President, Tommy Barnes.
In the plan students will be able to choose what schools they want to attend and will have the option of a Portfolio of schools that provide an interest based learning systems. The biggest issue from board members with this idea was reorganization transportation and the added cost of moving Bibb County's students to school.
Dallemand hopes to implement a year round school calendar in 2013.
Marie Harris says although parts of the plan sounds intriguing and has bright spots, she left the meeting with more questions than answers. Board Members say they have some of the same concerns without seeing financial numbers or a concrete timeline for the plan.
The Bibb County School Board will vote next Friday, Feb. 10th on whether or not to implement Dallemand's Strategic Plan.