What is it exactly that Forsyth County Schools wants to change?
Here are a few of the desired options outlined in the proposed flexibility application, along with examples of how they could be used.
Some could go into effect as early as the 2009-10 school year, while others may not be implemented for a couple of years, if at all.
There are no requirements that any of the flexibilities be used.
* Graduation requirements: This would apply to the high school level and could be used to allow students to advance on their own timeline, instead of spending the state-mandated number of hours in class.
This could help advanced students graduate early, or let students who must repeat classes avoid having to stay an extra full year. This flexibility is currently being used at the Forsyth Academy.
* Instructional extension: This would allow schools to offer more choices for remedial courses, which are currently limited to certain times.
Students could receive instruction not just after or before school starts, but possibly on weekends, holidays or during the school day.
* Education program for gifted students: The flexibility could allow students to participate in more gifted classes.
* Minimum direct classroom expenditures: The current funding system mandates a certain percentage of money be spent on certain programs.
For example, if a school has budgeted $10,000 for the media center, but uses just $4,000, the remaining money must still go toward the media center.
With the flexibility, the additional $6,000 could be directed to another area of need, such as a special needs program in a school with a higher special needs population.
Other flexibilities include: more money for early intervention programs at higher risk schools, instead of spreading the funding evenly across all schools; relaxed class duration, so students could spend more time in trouble subjects; and increased leeway in promoting students.