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Board pledges teamwork in SACS response
by Bill Baldowski
October 10, 2012 06:04 PM | 2259 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Clayton County Board of Education has pledged to work in harmony and synchronization to address the “letter of concern” it received from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

However at its Oct. 1 meeting, the first time parents and board members could respond the SACS letter of Sept. 24, board members heard a host of residents address the board with comments ranging from a call for them to resign outright to statements of support in board efforts to correct the governance issues that were at the heart of SACS letter.

So many residents lined up to address the board that its voted to extend the usual 30-minute segment of the agenda devoted to public comment by 10 minutes. However, extending the public comment time resulted in a disagreement between school board chairwoman Pam Adamson, Ed.D., and board member Jesse Goree.

Adamson said it was a matter of board policy to limit the public comment segment to 30 minutes and that those who were in line to address the board knew of the time limitations and that there was a chance the time allotted to public comment might run out before they could address the board.

However, Goree called for an extension of the public comment period, sighting policy that the board could extend it if they wanted, which the board voted to do.

“I can well understand the concerns of our resident,” Goree said. “Four years ago as a parent of a Clayton County student, I had the same concern and knew at that time someone on the school board had gone directly to SACS.”

Referencing SACS letter of last month, she also feels a board member had again gone to SACS.

“I have no idea why we received the letter because the board has been working well together,” she said, adding that, in 2008, citizens had a basis for their attacks.

“One of the most direct calls for the board to resign came from a retired Clayton educator, Mattie Welch.

“If you don’t resign, we are going to take steps to help you make that decision,” she told the board.

Among those addressing the school board were Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon and Lovejoy Mayor Bobby Cartwright.

Each offered community centers in their respective municipalities to conduct community public input sessions in an effort to address the superintendent search and SACS other concerns.

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