MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Parents of students at Minnie Burghard and Agnes Barden Elementary Schools in Bibb County begged the school board Tuesday night to keep the two schools separate.
Consolidating the two schools is a move that would save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars as it continues to find ways to cut its huge deficit.
Under a plan presented to the board, Barden Elementary School would be closed down, and its students would be sent to Burghard.
Parents and students aren't happy about the proposal. One father tells us his daughter excels at Barden like he's never seen her excel before.
"I have two other kids from another marriage," says Diontae Hill. "They left one school where they were doing terrible, then we put them in Barden and they went from Cs and Fs to As and Bs."
Another Barden parent tells us he wishes the board would look at other alternatives to saving money.
"I wish that things were different," says Lonnie Estes. "I hope that they make the right decision. I hope that the parents have faith in the board that they'll go ahead and do the right thing and keep Agnes-Barden in circulation."
In another money-saving proposal, the board discussed reconfiguring grade levels at King-Danforth and Jones Elementary Schools. The administration recommended King-Danforth serve students from 3rd through 5th grades with Jones serving as the Pre-K through 2nd grade building.
Each item requires two public forums before it can be voted on. The dates for those forums haven't been set.
Associate Superintendents to Principals
In budget talks, the school district has discussed cutting all associate superintendent positions to save money.
Tuesday, the board named four of those employees as principals throughout the district, effective July 1.
Bertha Caldwell will be the new principal of Skyview Elementary, and Donna Jackson will serve in that position at Springdale.
Terrence Martin will be Porter Elementary's new principal, and Tanzy Kilcrease will take over as principal at Southwest High School.
Jones Elementary School principal Keela Malone will become principal at Rice.
Board members Lester Miller and Thelma Dillard voted against the transfers. Jason Downey abstained from voting and Lynn Farmer was not present.
Interim Superintendent Contract
The board finalized a contract Tuesday night for interim superintendent Dr. Steve Smith. Smith will be paid a base salary of $198,000, with benefits that include health insurance and a car allowance.
He's expected to start work on June 1. The contract runs through June 2014.