The Jackson County Board of Education and the Jackson County Board of Commissioners are taking action to work more closely together on their mutual interest in the community.

The BOC and BOE recently held a joint two-day meeting at the University of Georgia to discuss how they could increase their cooperation and communication. A draft summary of the retreat was briefly discussed at the BOE's Nov. 7 meeting.

The outcome: Five broad goals came out of the meeting, according to the summary. Top of the list was more joint planning about the location of future schools and joint involvement in the comprehensive planning process. Other goals include working together with the school system's college and career academy, perhaps through the chamber of commerce; road improvements and traffic impacts of new school locations; increased cooperation on the joint use of school and county athletic facilities; and to highlight the two group's efforts in joint leadership.

Why it matters: Although the two boards have worked together in the past on sharing athletic facilities, this effort is an attempt to take that relationship to the next level. Especially critical will be the school system's input on county growth issues. Residential growth has a huge impact on the school system's facility needs while industrial growth impacts the school system's financial needs. 

What's next: The two groups are tentatively slated to meet again in March. Among the goals is for superintendent April Howard and county manager Kevin Poe to meet on a monthly basis to share information.

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