ELLIJAY, Ga. – Though the name has been changed for some time, and most everyone within the Gilmer Schools System has already been using and viewing the former Gilmer Middle School building as the Larry Walker Educational Center, a Special Called Meeting of the Board of Education (BOE) saw the official approval of a resolution to transfer “middle school instructional units” into “high school instructional units.”
This resolution, according to Superintendent Dr. Brian Ridley, is the resolution allowing the moving of instructional units and on documentation allowing the school system to be in line and earn state credit for them. In turn, this reduces the number of instructional units at the middle school level, creating a need on earned credit for middle school instructional units.’
Additionally, the resolution phases out 3 buildings at the former Gilmer Middle School as Dr. Ridley read in the resolution stating they would be used “for administrative uses.”
The process of changing the facility has already been completed by the BOE. Dr. Ridley said that this resolution is for the paperwork to officially transfer and phase out buildings in order to put the state credit earnings in there proper place. Ridley further explained that on paper, the state believes that Gilmer has 61 empty middle school classrooms. With the official transfer, the paperwork will show Clear Creek Middle as the only middle school in the county and will earn state credit towards needs at the facility, removing the assumed 61 empty classrooms and the associated square footage with those rooms.
The school system earns credit from the state through several formulas including the most common based on the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act. According to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), “The Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act requires local school systems to report student enrollment in terms of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students. State funding for the operation of instructional programs are generated from FTE data reported by local school systems.”
Delving into the QBE components, “direct instructional costs” are calculated by staff salaries and benefits and materials, equipment, and travel. Then, “indirect instructional costs” are also calculated based on administrations, facilities, and media, among others.