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July 16--  School is starting next month and the Toombs County school board is still looking for a new school superintendent. 

According to school board chairman Daniel Caraway, 42 people have applied for the job.

Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Kendall Brantley says the board will narrow the field to its top three choices.

"They've got to narrow that list, then they've got to go through the interview process and then narrow the list to at least three and make the public aware of who those three folks are," Dr. Brantley says.

Dr. Brantley submited his resignation in March and said he was hopeful the board would have had a new superintendent on board by July 1.

The school board approved the school system's tentative fiscal year 2013 budget at its meeting Thursday night.  The general fund budget amounts to $22.7 million dollars.  That's $600,000 more than this year primarily due to increased health care cost and salary increases for teachers.

"The additional coverage pushed up the budget and it was about $600,000 with the classified employees insurance plus the salary increase for training and experience in our system," he explained.

Meanwhile, the school board is wrestling with how to reduce the cost of building a new Toombs County High School.  Dr. Brantley says the estimated $24 million needs to come down by at least $2 million and the board is looking at reducing the size of the proposed 210,000 square foot school by at least 25,000 square feet.

At the same time, the proposed location for a new Toombs Central Elementary School adjacent to the current school has a problem.

"You can't build a new school within 750 feet of a highway right-of-way according to a change in state law.  That puts us at odds of whether we can build a new school at the Toombs Central site because U.S. One runs in front and the proposed new bypass runs behind it," Dr. Brantley reports.

Dr. Brantley says a Department of Transportation waiver may be possible. He notes the timeline to build the new school is three years out and that gives some time to resolve the issue.