A full house attended the school board meeting. Most were objecting to recent personnel decisons by the school board.
April 5-- Critics of personnel decisions made by the Montgomery County school board addressed the board at Monday night's school board meeting.
After leading an outdoor demonstration before the meeting, Adrian Bell, pastor of the Uvalda First Baptist Church and founder of a group called "Kids First Montgomery," asked the board to do better or resign. Others to address the board included former Special Education Director D.B. Baker and defeated school board candidate Evelyn Carpenter of Uvalda.
"You swore to lead this system to the best of your ability. If this is your best, and if you cannot do better, I and Kids First Montgomery publicly ask you to resign your office," Bell said after noting he was speaking as a parent.
The preacher said the board could start by repealing its actions since January 1, 2011. The board voted last month not to rehire two school principals and two central office employees to their current positions.
After an executive session, the board ignored Bell's recommendation, but did agree to rescind a decison which would have cost teachers an extra day of pay. On the recommendation of School Superintendent Randy Rodgers, the board voted to reinstate May 26 as a teacher planning day.
Rodgers estimates the day will cost the school system about $33,000 in salaries and leaves it with a projected surplus of only $10,000 at the end of the fiscal year June 30. However, he said the teachers are already giving up ten days of pay this school term and he didn't feel an eleventh day was fair.
The superintendent reports he is looking at new ways to save money including the possibility of shared services with Treutlen County schools. Rodgers also wants to educate folks about the complexities of school finance and is planning an April 30th presentation by a consultant who specializes in public school funding.
Meanwhile, the school board has yet to receive notice from the state Department of Education regarding future funding allotments and is facing the possibility of borrowing money to pay expenses through the end of the year.