BOC Chair Responds to BOE Comments– June 11, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
 
 
Contact:      Linda Shook
Email:         lshook@leecountync.gov
 

The chairman of the Lee County Board of Commissioners has issued the following response to the Board of Education action taken at its meeting on Friday, June 10.

  1. The Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a Resolution seeking financial information from the Lee County Board of Education on May 2, 2011.  In that Resolution, the Commissioners reserved the right to ask for additional information as they deem necessary to review the FY 2011-12 requested budget from the Board of Education.  Therefore, an additional Resolution as suggested by the Board of Education is not required.  The Board of Education’s reluctance to provide the Board of Commissioners information required by statute is an indication there is still a long way to go in restoring trust between the two boards.  
  2. The county manager was tasked by the Board of Commissioners to meet with Superintendent Moss to see how far apart the two boards were.  The county manager was not tasked with brokering a deal, and the proposal by the Board of Education needs full debate by the Board of Commissioners.  While there may have been an informal poll conducted by the county manager following his meeting with Superintendent Moss, this does not ensure a “deal has been brokered”.  I have no doubt that several commissioners want to get this impo rtant responsibility quickly behind them without having to make uncomfortable, difficult decisions.  However, I pledge to the taxpayers of Lee County this will be fully debated before the budget is adopted by the Board of Commissioners. 
  3. The Board of Education has indicated its share of discretionary cuts under the proposed state budget is $2.8 million.  The Board of Education spends over $2.5 million in local salary supplements for central office staff, administrators, supervisors, teachers, and a few other positions.  As a former public school teacher, I do not begrudge the supplements received by the classroom teachers.  Many of them pay for their classroom supplies out of their own pockets.  There are four commissioners who have expressed concern that locally funded supplements should be on the table as a way to reduce the local current expense request.  The Superintendent and Board of Education have been adamant in protecting the supplements of non-classroom employees.  This leads to the perception that the school system values its central office staff and administrators more than it values its classroom teachers.  However, this seems like a logical solution having a minimal effect on reducing personnel.
  4. Public confidence in government depends on proper stewardship of public money, whether it is local, state, or federal tax dollars.  While the school system received over $11 million in federal stimulus dollars over the last two years, it managed to purchase $6 million in laptops for elementary, middle, and high school students while eliminating 3rd grade teacher assistants.  I agree with many of the taxpayers in Lee County that this prioritization of spending may not be the best use of tax dollars in very difficult economic times.

 The debate of education funding at the state and local level over the past months has been dominated by emotions rather than facts.  It is a fact that this year’s state K-12 education funding is an increase over the previous state education budget.  Teachers and teacher assistants are fully funded in the budget.  Yes, it will be a difficult task looking for the most effective, efficient discretionary cuts.  Sound business decisions must rely on facts and not emotions.

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About James Madison

I was the fourth president of these United States. My wife Dolley and I are greatly disturbed with the erosion of your liberties and the encroachment of the present federal, state, and local governments. I was an original member of the Democratic-Republican Party in this country and I would welcome a return to the conservative values that united Democrats and Republicans in my day. Let's start with putting God back in our lives and our government so He will richly bless our endeavors in Lee County. Let's force our elected officials be more transparent and accountable to the electorate in fiscal and social matters. I look forward to hearing your ideas about these matters and others that are on your hearts and minds. Thank You for participating!
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4 Responses to BOC Chair Responds to BOE Comments– June 11, 2011

  1. Bottom of the Totem Pole says:

    On March 22, 2011, Dr. Jeffery Moss met with “HIS” principals and shared some information pertaining to the impending state and local education budget procss. This was just after Dr. Moss had just met with the chairperson of the County Commissioners. They had agreed to lobby to state politicians supporting the following issues affecting education. ( I will not quote them all here, but do have documentation of more…)
    Number ONE was “KEEPING TEACHES AND INSTRUCTIONAL ASSISTANTS IN THE CLASSROOOM. THIS IS THEIR FIRST PRIORITY.”
    Seems like someone forgot that printed words can be easily shared…
    Stayed tuned….more documentaion to come…HAPPY (paper) TRAILS TO YOU, UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN….

  2. Goose says:

    Bottom, May I point out that claiming that you have documents is not the same as producing those documents so they can be examined. 2nd are they signed or initialed by both parties. I learned many years ago that different people can report on the same meeting with totally different reports of what was said or decided. We were taught to write a memo or meeting report as soon as possible after the meeting or even better during the meeting to make sure everyone were agreed on what happened. The same as meeting minutes as are common now.

    • Maverick says:

      Goose, it says stay tuned.

      Why take minutes? Everybody in the Lee County School System has the same opinion, even little 3rd graders who were able to have a class discussion and all come up with the same outcome. Not one dissenting viewpoint. That’s must make Jeff Moss and Chairmen Tatum and Williams extremely proud.

  3. Bottom of the Totem Pole says:

    GOOSE,
    It has been told that Lee County School archives emails for at least 3 years. As I stated earlier, I have been given hard copy documentation…and at the end of each email they state “E-mail correspondence to and from this sender may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.” So, YOU just may be my third party in this matter.

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