03/15/05 — County's board of education does not want an educational council

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County's board of education does not want an educational council

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 15, 2005 2:16 PM

The Wayne County Board of Education does not want a county educational council formed, as proposed in the county's strategic plan.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to the school board two weeks ago, stating their intention to reconvene the Strategic Plan steering committee, and to form an educational council.

In a letter dated March 9, Lehman Smith, the chairman of the school board, told the commissioners that his board didn't agree with the organization of a cross-section of the county's citizens in an educational council. The letter said that the school board plans to use school advisory council members to provide issues of concern, information, proposals and feedback.

"This type cross-section composition would be from each advisory council from each of our 31 schools," the letter said. "This type process would be organized by the Board of Education and Administration."

The letter further said that from the school board's perspective, a true cross-section of the county's residents would include representatives from each school and community.

"In addition, these members currently have children attending our schools. Since each school has seven advisory council members, over 200 citizens are available to be utilized in this advisory capacity."

The school board said the commissioners and the county manager would be invited to the meetings.

The school board agreed to the other parts of the strategic plan dealing with educational issues, which included:

*A one-day workshop retreat with both the school board and the county commissioners to discuss funding issues.

*Scheduled visits of the county commissioners to each school, as soon as the county provides date.

*The reactivation of the original Wayne County Strategic Plan Steering Committee, with the understanding that all areas of the strategic plan will be reviewed.

The county commissioners did not comment on the letter during Tuesday's board meeting, but County Manager Lee Smith said that he would be contacting the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.

Smith said that when the steering committee was reconvened, all parts of the strategic plan would be reviewed.