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      Lee County schools prepare for loss of staff

      All at once, eleven educators and staff members are leaving the Lee County School System, however it has nothing to do with corruption. Officials say these women have earned their retirement.

      There's a great loss here. There are hundreds of years of experience that will be leaving us at the end of November, says Dr. Lawrence T. Walters, Lee County School System Superintendent.

      Although school officials are happy to send the educators off into retirement, they have to think about how the school system is going to cope without them.

      When they leave us it'll be right at the beginning of December and we've got semester finals just a week or two later. So we'll get to the end of the semester, says Kevin Dowling, principal of Lee County High School.

      After students return in January, that's when the real challenge will begin.

      If we cannot replace them, it's possible that we will be talking about working essentially half time, says Dr. Walters.

      If the agreement is worked out, the teachers would work 49 percent of the spring semester. School officials say that's not set in stone.

      Also during the Lee County Board of Education meeting, administrators talked about a growth in SPLOST 3 funds and reaching their $300,000 goal.

      That was the third month in a row that we were over $300,000. So I think maybe the economy might be picking up just a little bit, says Dr. Walters.

      SPLOST 3 funds are being used to build the new Lee County Elementary School.