Fact vs Fiction

Welcome to the Early County School System's Fact vs. Fiction webpage.  In these times of “fake news” circulated on social media and “unofficial” social media groups, this is a place where you can find accurate information that dispels rumors and/or misinformation circulating in the community in a timely manner.

If you have a question for us to consider, you can email it to mham@early.k12.ga.us.

2024-2025 Academic Calendar

FICTION: Moving from 180 school days to 160 school days means that students will attend school for less time. 

FACT: While the number of days students attend school will be less, the school day will lengthen for students for 20-30 minutes, depending on the school. All schools will still be above the required instructional minutes required by the state of GA. (Instructional minutes - minutes of the school day when instruction or instruction-related activities based on state approved courses are provided or coordinated by a certified teacher or substitute teacher. Does not include lunch, recess, passing periods, etc.)

FICTION: Teachers will work less hours so their pay will be cut. 

 FACT: The total number of hours worked in the contract year will remain the same. The work day for teachers will extend an additional hour on the 160 school days. 

FICTION: ECSS made this decision without input from the community.

FACT: The Superintendent met with an administrative team to discuss a modified year. A determination was made that substantial savings could be generated by modifying the school year. Additional admin meetings were held to discuss financial savings and formulate plans to allow employees and the community to have input in the decision making process.  The Superintendent also met with local law enforcement, the Early County recreation department, and other local entities to discuss potential pitfalls and to take suggestions.

Staff and parent surveys were made available and shared via Remind, Social Media, and the ECSS Website in October 2023. A Parent/Community feedback session was held in person on November 14, 2023. A staff Q&A was held on December 4th. The Board of Education voted and approved the calendar on December 12, 2023.


What is ESPLOST?

ESPLOST stands for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. 

In short, it is a one cent sales tax on all retail sales in Early County.  It is NOT a property tax and it is NOT a new tax; it is a continuation of an existing one-cent sales tax on all retail purchases in Early County.  An ESPLOST provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements that everyone pays, not just property owners. 

Currently 157 of the 159 counties in Georgia have a 1% sales tax dedicated to K-12 public education.   

Facilities Rearrange

What will be put where the existing high school building is now? 

There are a lot of ideas about what that area should become, most have either suggested a parking lot or sports complex with softball/baseball fields. That decision has yet to be made and will not likely be finalized until we are further in this process. 

Will we be able to keep middle schoolers and high schoolers separated? If not, there will be safety issues and concerns. 

They will be separated as much as possible. Will there be a time during the day when a middle schooler sees a high schooler? Likely. Will there be a time during the day when a middle schooler has a class with a high schooler? No. Keep in mind that there are a lot of other surrounding schools with multiple grade bands in the same building. 

Will we have to let staff go when we combine 3 schools into 2? 

Our goal is to handle that problem through attrition over the next few years. 

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Early County Schools

40 Harold Ragan Dr.

Blakely, Georgia 39823

Phone: (229)723-4337