Concerns raised over future of Columbus Academic Success Center

Academic Success Center

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Some people around Columbus are raising concerns after talk about possibly closing the Academic Success Center.

News Leader 9's Mackenzie Zaragoza spoke with both sides of the issue and explains what this all means for the students.

"I'd have three more years of high school left after already being in high school for four years," said Steven Ship.

That's what 18-year-old Ship says it would be like for him if he wasn't a student at the Academic Success Center in Columbus.

The school is an alternative program geared toward helping students in 8th through 12th grade who have fallen behind in credits and might not graduate on time.

Now Ship, other students, and some community members are wondering what might happen if the school closed.

"It would be quit devastating considering there are a lot of students that really need the help that this school offers," Ship said.

This comes after Interim Superintendent John Phillips talked with school board members on Monday about 2009 SPLOST shortfalls.

"The information that was shared is based on how we're operating, what's feasible and what's not feasible based on the SPLOST collections," said Valerie Fuller, Director of Communications for the Muscogee County School District.

Fuller said they are short about $17.4 million in revenue since 2010.

She explains nothing is concrete and the superintendent only wanted to talk with the school board about the shortfall.

"The alternative programs, Rose Hill and Daniel, combined in one site, and to have the Academic Success students move back to their home schools," Fuller said.

Fuller says the same services students get at the Academic Success Center would then be available for them at the schools they originally transferred from.

Student Lashanda Odom says the center has made a positive difference for her education.

"I'm graduating in December," Odom said. "I may graduate early thanks to Academic Success so they really helped me out a lot."

Fuller says nothing has officially been proposed but she says that could happen at the school board's next work session, and then the board could vote on it at the following meeting or table it.

About 200 students attend the Academic Success Center.

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