BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — At a Tuesday night meeting, The Brunswick County Board of Education decided staggered start times were the way to go. In a 3-2 vote, the board decided elementary schools will start at 7:50 a.m., middle schools will start at 8:50 a.m., and high schools will start at 8:55 a.m.
The board says the new schedules will save the school system $525,000 annually and could save 10 teaching positions from being cut. John Barham says as a parent, he wasn’t always sure about the new schedules, but he thinks it is the best choice.
“The fact that you can save 10 permanent teaching positions affects so many people,” Barham said. “It affects the teachers, it affects the economy, but it really helps and affects the children as well. If the teachers had been cut, that could have made the classroom sizes higher and the attention that the students would get would be less.”
Barham says there are some disadvantages to the new plan, but he says the cons are minor and should be workable.
“When you get to the high school students, they’re starting later. If they have any extra curricular activities,” Barham said. “How is that going to be affected? How are sports going to be affected?”
The board says the efficiency ratings of the school system will skyrocket because of this decision. Since they buses are not needed at the same time, about 30 less buses will be on the road, daily.
Barham says although he knows that change is difficult and often times seen as negative, he thinks it will be worth it in the end.
“Just the fact of the economy of the way it is right now and being able to save the money… I think the ends justify the means,” Barham said.
The new schedules will go into effect at the beginning of next school year. This decision is part of a list of reductions that board members had to vote on Tuesday in order to close a $5.7 million budget deficit.