Merging the Columbus County and Whiteville City school systems has been talked about for years, but now it may be closer to reality.
The Columbus County Board of Education will meet Monday morning in a special session to discuss consolidation of the two school systems. The Whiteville City Board of Education will also meet Monday in a regular session.
According to Columbus County School’s spokesman Kelly Jones, the county’s Board of Education will discuss adopting a resolution at Monday’s meeting that would be in support of consolidation.
Jones said the board won’t be sure if it will actually support the resolution until they see it and discuss it.
As of Tuesday, Jones said the resolution hadn’t been drafted yet, but he expects it to be released in the next few days.
Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Kenny Garland said he had no comment on the development. He spoke with WECT in May, however, about the possible merger.
He told WECT a merge would mean significant losses in state and federal funds.
WECT reported in May that those losses added up to almost $1 million for the school systems. The schools would also have $1.3 million in possible savings, which Garland said were unclear.
Garland also said the merger could mean a loss of 10 to 11 teaching positions.
Jones said although the consolidation would mean a loss of jobs, it would also mean much-needed construction on schools in the county would be more likely to take place.
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