2012-09-12 / Front Page

Same BOE, same leadership

by Terry Toole

The Miller County Board of Education is still doing the same thing under the same leadership with a 3-2 vote, lead by the same governance. The thing, is anything they want, as long as they can get all of the board members to show up.

The regular September 10, 2012 meeting of the BOE, was held this time at the BOE office, which is the entire old school.

The BOE voted the first of the year to hold regular meetings at the City Hall. This meeting place was changed this time, without public notice. There were three vehicles with citizens waiting to go to the meeting at the City Hall, including a sheriff's officer who is paid extra each meeting to protect certain board members and personnel.

Seemingly, they need protection, especially when the BOE and their "guests" go into executive session/ closed meeting to separate themselves from the few citizens who attend the meetings.

The deputy was called into the executive session by Supt. Robert McIntosh to keep down a disturbance.

The superintendent disclosed that a bill will be offered to the citizens concerning Charter Schools to be established when public education is failing. More on that. Four of the principals stated that 1,099 students are now attending Miller County Schools, and all was going well.

There were a number of parents attending, so Chairman Leroy Bush stated that they needed to go into executive session for personnel/real estate.

According to the new, slightly improved Open Meetings and Open Record Acts passed out to all BOE members, that no BOE “must” go into executive session. However, they can, for certain reasons, but it is not mandatory. The new laws tell why a BOE can, and cannot close a meeting to the public.

According to the new laws, some board members and many citizens feel that this BOE is breaking laws hiding public business from the public. The new law does not allow closed meeting to receive evidence concerning personnel or to discuss property that has not been advertised for sale, which was done Monday night.

Arequest by a representative of the Miller County Liberal for a copy of the Executive Session Affidavit has been requested at that meeting.

Very few citizens stay after the BOE goes into executive session. The closed meetings can last for an hour to three hours.

It was reported that when the BOE came back into session, a contract was approved for a speech language pathologist and a third grade teacher was hired, Ms. Whitney Grubbs from Decatur County.

It was noted at a previous meeting that an additional third grade teacher was needed, but since the leadership did not apply for this position with the rest of the personnel, all of the salary and benefits would be paid from local taxes.

The State Board of Education and a panel recommended to Governor Nathen Deal in the past year that this Miller County BOE be removed from office.

A very reliable source has stated that Governor Deal has no intensions of removing the Miller County BOE since District One has re-elected the chairperson for four more years. The source stated that it was considered by the state, that’s what the people want, and BOE removal was just part of the problem with governance. Maybe the 3-2 vote will change in January with a mostly new BOE.

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