MOULTRIE — Colquitt County students may not take home a textbook for every subject, but that doesn’t mean instructional materials are not readily available, school administrators said.

In-class copies, DVDs and computer access to books are among the ways students can access texts these days.

The Observer has received several submissions in recent weeks related to students not bringing home books.

The system spends a significant amount on books, Assistant Schools Superintendent Mo Yearta said, but in some cases it is not necessary or economically sound policy to provide each student with an individual copy.

Because it is difficult to find textbooks that perfectly match the state’s education curriculum, in some instances books are only a portion of the educational material used in classes, she said.

“When we do select textbooks we have to be very careful about finding one that matches most closely the Georgia curriculum,” Yearta said. “In some cases the match is not very good.”

In such a situation there would be a class set used by students during the school day but not copies to take home, she said.

“That is just being fiscally responsible with state and local funds,” Yearta said. “It would not be fiscally responsible to buy a book in every case when they’re not going to be used for every class every day.”

The state provides money for textbook purchases, but that amount is less than what it costs the school system, Yearta said. For example, the state’s share on kindergarten books is $15, while a textbook kit for those students can cost $2,600.

For the current school year, reading and language arts instructional materials for kindergarten through eighth grade cost $439,000, of which the state allotment totaled $107,000, she said. The system also received some federal funds for English language learners, but the system still paid more than $200,000 out of local funds.

The system purchases books on a seven-year rotating basis by subject, Yearta said. Of the English and language arts books purchased, grades six, seven and eight were for in-class textbooks. In grades one through five students received take-home textbooks.

However, if a students does need a particular book for home use it can be made available, Yearta said. In such a situation the student or parent can bring the matter to the attention of the child’s teacher or principal and a textbook will be made available to take home.

“I think a lot of the issue goes to the parent wants to help the child at home and they say ‘where’s the textbook’ and there is no textbook,” she said. “In that case the parent needs to talk to the teacher and they will get the book they need.”

Publishers also are providing CDs and Internet access to textbooks these days, Yearta said.

“I can see where that practice will become more and more common,” she said.

Schools Superintendent Leonard McCoy said the system will address any situation in which a parent has a question about the need for a particular textbook.

“I would think if it’s a legitimate concern, why wouldn’t they simply call the teacher or call the principal or call me?” he said. “Why would they call the Rant and Rave?”

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