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Bill eases rules for funding
Forsyth school system already enjoys freedom
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Forsyth County News
The state Senate is reviewing a bill that could give school systems statewide the same freedom with funding that Forsyth County has.

House Bill 908 would temporarily change the Quality Basic Education Act to give school districts across the state flexibility in their budget for instruction, staff development, media centers and additional instruction days.

The bill passed the state House last week.

If the bill were to become law, the flexibility would last through the 2012-13 school year.  

Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans welcomed the decision.

“I think the general scheme of things is that it’s a positive recognition from our legislature that during challenging economic times, having the flexibility to target your resources into areas that you deem most appropriate is a good thing,” Evans said.  

The Senate could make changes to the bill. In its current form, however, Evans said the bill would have no impact on Forsyth County because of the system’s Investing in Education Excellence, or IE2, status.

Since the state board of education approved the five-year flexibility agreement in April, Forsyth has enjoyed freedom from many state mandates in exchange for higher levels of accountability.

Though Evans said HB 908 could be viewed as a testament to Forsyth’s IE2 status, it also makes it a little easier on other school systems.

“We’re seeking not only the flexibility, we’re tied to some enhanced accountability,” Evans said. “It kind of makes you wonder ... where we go from that because other systems will have that [flexibility] without that accountability.”