03/22/06 — County sends tape back to school board

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County sends tape back to school board

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 22, 2006 1:45 PM

Wayne County's Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to return a videotape of the recent Board of Education meeting discussing the future of Goldsboro High School without watching its contents.

The videotape contained comments by school board members and Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor regarding Superior Court Judge Howard Manning's directive that he would close 19 public schools in the state this fall, including Goldsboro High School, if improvements in instruction and test scores are not made.

The tape was filmed during a school board meeting on March 13.

Prior to the school board meeting, County Manager Lee Smith sent a letter to the school district on behalf of the commissioners explaining that the board was concerned about the possibility of Goldsboro High closing in the fall. The letter also questioned what the school board was doing to ensure the high school would not close and invited board members to attend Tuesday's commission meeting to explain those steps.

School board members took issue with the directive, suggesting that a tape of the meeting be sent instead. Several said they felt a presentation made at the meeting by school officials contained sufficient information that could readily be viewed by the commission.

Smith said he was told any questions about Goldsboro High could be directed to officials at the high school.

Commissioner J.D. Evans said he believed the intent of the letter was to explain to school board members that the county commissioners would assist the schools in any way they could.

"I thought the letter was positive in its request," Evans said.

Commissioner John Bell said he could not understand why the school board became so defensive about the request for their presence at the commissioners' meeting.

"Any regular person could make the same request," he said.

Smith said he would not discuss any other school issues, including funding, until the comprehensive facilities report returns from consultant Evergreen Solutions in April.