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Our thoughts... Sharp move
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As Newton County Schools seeks to pare $9 million from its budget, one of the proposals on the table is to shut down the Sharp Learning Center alternative school and replace it with Ombudsman, a private education firm.

This one move could save nearly 20 percent of the cuts needed to the budget, about $1,941,962.

More importantly, a switch to Ombudsman promises a better academic outcome for the troubled students it would serve, according to information from Newton Schools Superintendent Gary Mathews.

You can see our report on this proposal here.

We were shocked to learn that there was an alternative such as this available, and we’re glad that Ombudsman, which has already partnered with 23 school districts in Georgia, is under consideration by our school system.

Control of the program would remain local, as the school system would serve as the boss of Ombudsman locally. The school system would recommend placements there.

What’s especially intriguing is Ombudsman’s claim that 85 percent of students referred to the program graduate. At Sharp, only half of seniors graduated last year.

That’s a big difference.

If the current system is not working to its best capacity, it is time for change.

We endorse having a private firm takes over the alternative school program for Newton County.

We must have the best possible education system that the taxpayers can afford for our county to grow, and this proposals cuts costs and improves performance.

It’s a sharp alternative all around.