05/05/04 — Consultant to study Duplin school needs

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Consultant to study Duplin school needs

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 5, 2004 2:08 PM

KENANSVILLE -- A consultant is coming to study Duplin County's school needs.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire ITRE, a consulting firm that has worked with many school systems in similar situations as Duplin, with shortages of classroom space and racial imbalances.

The board has discussed how to return racial balance to the schools, said board member Reginald Kenan. "That is a factor, but a more serious factor is academics," he said. "This is 2004, and we must learn to walk into a classroom and not walk back out because we don't like the racial mix."

The school board members discussed the situation during a retreat Sunday, but they still are undecided on what would be best for the children, said Chairman Doc Brinson.

"We wanted to find somebody unbiased to come and look at it and tell us what is in the best interest of the students, whether to leave it as it is or change it. ... The board wants to do what is right. It's time to do something, and we want to do what is right."

The board wants to find a solution in 60 days and has invited the consultant to talk to them at their next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on May 18. "We're hoping 60 days is not unrealistic," he said.