04/12/04 — Get together: School problems should be discussed face to face

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Get together: School problems should be discussed face to face

The time has come for members of Wayne County’s Big Three boards — the county commissioners, the Goldsboro City Council and the Board of Education — to get together and hash out this business about the schools.
It might be a good idea to invite representatives from Wayne County’s other towns, too.
The Big Three have been venting their views mainly through comments at their own meetings. The news media then carry these comments to their intended targets.
Now the boards have added a new mode of communication — letters that threaten lawsuits. The City Council has threatened to sue the Board of Commissioners.
The city people are upset mainly because so many schools within the city are segregated. But racial housing patterns, school district lines and school transfer problems — the causes of the segregation — are not the prerogative of the commissioners.
In fact, the commissioners have asked the school board to do one thing the city people want, which is to hire an independent consultant to make recommendations for the schools. Members of the school board believe that is unnecessary.
Surely if the members of the boards got together to talk about these issues, they could make their positions known candidly and respectfully, in ways that are not as divisive as a threatening letter. They might even work out some possible solutions.
If nothing fruitful resulted, they could get together for another try shortly afterward. The more time they spend together, talking about the issues, the more productive their dialogue will be.
They can start by scheduling the first get-together right away.

Published in Editorials on April 12, 2004 11:48 AM