The Greene County school system has created a steering committee to weigh in on changes for the system, after a report indicated declining enrollment numbers in Greene County schools.

That report shows that over the past ten years, enrollment in Greene County schools has dropped by about 700 students. Each student lost costs the school system about $6,000 in state funding.

The school system contracted an independent consultant to study the data and make recommendations for the school system. The committee consists of 50 people: 17 teachers - one from each school, 16 parents, four high school students, three school board members, three principals, four people from business and industry, one clergyman, two county commissioners, two assistant directors, and the Greene County Schools CFO.

South Greene High School teacher and athletic director Terry Hoese was one of those selected.

"I just finished a class that has 19 kids, and I know them and I can tell everyday when they come in that there's something going on or there's not something going on," he said.

A small class has advantages but severe enrollment declines are a big concern here.

"We're going to be 100 or less for incoming freshmen class is what I've been told," Hoese said.
Director of Schools David McLain said the system is already making changes in response to the losses.

"We're feeling some effects of that now, especially at our K-8," McLain said. "Last year we cut nine positions out. Right now I'm having numbers coming in so we're looking at cutting five or six teaching positions next year."

McLain said the district lines, student capacity, and the facility conditions are all under review.

"Are we utilizing what resources we have wisely? I think that's the big question, especially with somewhat of a decline in our enrollment."

County commissioner and retired teacher, Dale Tucker, is also on the steering committee.He wants to the quality of the schools improve and stay competitive with other area school systems.

"To think that we can teach school or have facilities or whatever that we had 30 years ago and still be comparable to the needs of the world, I don't think is very realistic," he said.

The steering committee meets this month for the first of four meetings. Results from the study are expected in October.

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