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February 26th Board of Education meeting notes

By Gerald Totten
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - Very productive meeting with excellent input from interested citizens. Most of the comments had to do with questions posed about when schools would be built to prepare for the influx of new residents and their own children.

There still seem to be some questions about the funding stream (read where the money will come from to design and build). Both the county and school system’s web sites have charts showing when the funds will be released. Unless the schools ask for a rearrangement or a change in priorities, the earliest any money is scheduled to be released is shown on those charts.

We need to understand for the newest among us that this county has not taken very good care of infrastructure nor has it planned for it very well until the last few years. We have a lot of catching up to do from water issues to needed services to needed buildings, including schools. Both elected boards are directed toward proactivity but our credit or borrowing limit has been reached for the near term. The only way that can be raised is by paying down the debt or cancelling other needed projects or raising taxes. It is that simple.

After the public comments a number of other issues were considered, the most significant was the redistricting to assign children to the new Virginia Cross Elementary scheduled to open in the fall. That school is some 70 days behind the planned opening date right now but efforts are being made by the contractor to shorten the delay.

A new more consumer friendly pest control policy was placed in effect following recommendations by the Health Department and North Carolina State University.

We also discussed the budget process for the next fiscal year and reviewed some of the recommendations of staff and the schools. This document will be fine tuned and is planned to be presented to the County Commissioners in early April. It will be discussed publicly in meetings between now and then and public input is desired. Make comments here or to the board members individually.

It was particularly gratifying to me to have the numbers of visitors present. It is through that public participation and comments that we can really get the pulse readings. Every meeting we announce is public - come one, come all!

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There were 3 Responses to “Board of Education meeting 26 February”

silkhopemom Says:
February 27th, 2007 at 11:23 am

Did the Board make a decision regarding grandfathering Silk Hope 7th & 8th graders (and siblings) that are being redistricted? I was at the meeting last night, but did not hear a decision on this, nor can I find it in the meeting summary on the county website.

Personnally, I was surprised at what appeared to be a lack of knowledge of a couple of Board members regarding the criteria used by the redistricting committee to determine the 3 proposed maps. These maps, and the criteria used to develop them, have been available to the public since mid-January, yet some Board members appeared to be studying them carefully for the first time last night. It scares me that some members of our Board of Education appeared to cast a vote last night without being fully prepared and completely educated before attending a meeting at which a vote is going to take place. Unacceptable.

ditka Says:
February 28th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

I was informed that they said something to the effect of grandfathering 7th and 8th grade students, but not their siblings… but was this officially decided?

gertot Says:
February 28th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

I’m sorry to be late in getting back but I was out of town until a few minutes ago.

We grandfathered the seventh and eighth grade students themselves but not any siblings. The number of siblings would have made the overages even greater and would have left the need for two more classrooms .

As to the members not knowing what has transpired, I can only say I believe Holly and Kathie did know the overall plans because the maps and dialog had been shared all the way through the process. When Ms. McManus made her comments to stop the process and continue the status quo after I made the motion to honor the hard work of the committee,
each of us were surprised. I maybe more than the others because Ms. McManus had voted at the only committee meeting she attended to approve scenario D. Holly and Kathie probably wanted to confirm the committee’s work by again looking at the maps. I know Holly and Kathie took this redistricting matter as seriously as did Norman and I so their review of Ms. McManus’ unexpected, off the wall comments was reasonable.

To think neither of those two are unprepared for our meetings is not what I think. Holly for her two years in office has been the best prepared of all of the board members. She studies the issues and makes intelligent comments and questions when needed. Kathie also has proven herself to do her homework before the meetings since she has been on the board.

Please observe those two in action and I believe you will agree with what I have stated.

Thanks for your comments. I welcome them.

 
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