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Superintendent, school board made the wrong call

Posted on July 2, 2019

Letters

As a former member of the Nash County Board of Education and the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education — including two years as chairman — I have made no published comment with regard to any actions taken by the board since leaving it in 1996. Until now.

As I read the article stating that the board had voted to eliminate four positions, the first thing that jumped out at me was that the superintendent is not quoted any place in that article, nor did he apparently address the reduction in instructional staff while his chief of staff had the audacity to justify these “citing a decline in funding directly related to a drop in enrollment.”

To cut his position alone would fund two-plus positions or I miss my guess.

Board member Evelyn Bulluck was quoted as saying “eliminating positions was a tough but necessary part of the school board’s duties.” Obviously, it’s really tough to make the right decision which is, to begin with, reduction of positions in the central office, but not too tough to cut instructional positions that offer support to our teachers and students, i.e., guidance counselors and social workers.

I had a superintendent tell me once (this was a superintendent who did his job and did not rely on his chief of staff or assistant superintendents to do it for him) that he never had to wonder where I stood on any issue because I came at him like a freight train. Well, there was only one freight train on that board last night. Thank you, Chris Bissette, for your vote June 26. How any board member could justify an “aye” vote on that recommendation is beyond me.

I know the role of a board member is to set policy and vote on personnel recommendations as they are presented by the superintendent or his appointed representative. It is also their duty to cast a thoroughly researched vote for that recommendation and to “explain“ that vote when necessary.

I’m still shaking my head in wonder at this one.

Jan Mills

Spring Hope

The writer is an employee of The Enterprise who wrote this letter in her personal capacity as a former school board member.

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