The Cullman County School system is one of 11 school districts in the United Stattes and the only school district in Alabama to receive a $300,000 federal grant to promote drug free schools, Superintendent Nancy Horton announced Thursday.

Horton said the grant, to be distributed during the next several years, will be used for drug education materials and drug testing in schools.

“Drug use is an incredible problem in the world and in Alabama, and we want to do all we can to prevent drug use in our schools,” she said.

Horton said Heidi Walker, special programs coordinator for County Schools, should be commended for her efforts in writing the grant, which will be used to fund drug testing at the seven county high schools. Walker said students who participate in extracurricular activities will be randomly drug tested.

In other business, Horton announced Exxon Mobil’s donation of $500 each to 20 county schools to be used for educational purposes.

The Cullman County Commission on Education approved raising the admission cost of high school and middle school basketball games $1 Thursday, with Jimmy Lynn casting the only dissenting vote. Horton said the Board will look into raising the admission price of other high school and middle school sports to offset the cost of holding the events.

Cullman County High Schools will offer season-passes at the former admission price during two weeks before the season begins, Horton said.

Lynn asked the Board to consider rejecting the motion to raise admission prices.

“If they have four children, it can turn into $12 quick just for one family,” he said.

Also during Thursday’s regular meeting of the Cullman County Commission on Education, Horton said classroom size reduction units will be added at Harmony, Garden City, Vinemont and Hanceville schools. Two new teacher units will be added at Harmony, while one each will be added at Garden City and Vinemont and a half teacher unit will be added at Hanceville.

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