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School board offers public forums

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Escambia County Fla., Superintendent of Education Jim Paul said making decisions about school consolidation does not come easy. In fact, he called the process "gut wrenching hard."
Paul, who was the guest of honor at a reception at Northview High School Monday afternoon, said he has instructed his staff to gather as much information as possible about proposed consolidations and other cost-saving measures.
While several small communities are organizing to oppose consolidation, Paul said the overwhelming majority of residents in the county favor such moves. He added that his election was a mandate from the people to "repair" the school system.
Paul said the county must get in a position to offer better pay to teachers.
A series of workshop and meetings have been scheduled over the next week to allow for community input and consideration of the consolidation plans.
The Board will meet at the following times:
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 5 p.m., Room 160 of the J.E. Hall Center; this Special Board Workshop will allow community input for the Board to consider regarding the consolidation plan.
Thursday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m., at the Northview High School cafeteria; this Special Board Workshop will afford northern Escambia County residents the opportunity to be heard in a more convenient venue.
Monday, Jan. 29, 4:30 p.m., Room 160 of the J.E. Hall Center; this Special Board Meeting is being held for the Board to consider the Superintendent's recommendations after receiving community input.