What is to become of the Edgewood Community Developmental School? No one knows. Or, they are not saying. Wayne County Public Schools has been waiting on funding assurances given some federal cutbacks, decisions on grade and student placement and now the results of a lead paint inspection.
Schools’ Superintendent Michael Dunsmore says a decision and announcement should come by the end of the month.
The end of June leaves little time for parents and students to complete plans for the upcoming school year that opens in August. Dunsmore and the Wayne County Board of Education appear to have dropped the ball on this one. Maybe.
A preset school calendar leaves few surprises. Leaders, schools and county commissioners, know when a school year ends and when the next one begins, long before it happens. These folks should have been open and transparent with the preparations and decisions concerning Edgewood. Sure, the rancor has spun forward and back between the two county boards. But acrimony doesn’t get anything done. It usually creates more confusion, as it has with Edgewood.
Add to that the recent comment some county commissioners made, and it all makes the public want to shrug its shoulders and throw its hands in the air.
“This board (of county commissioners) cannot tell the board of education what it can and can’t do,” said county Commissioner Wayne Aycock in a meeting Tuesday. Sure, it may not be polite or in good political form for one elected board to “tell” it what to do. But when one board holds the purse strings (county commissioners) to fund facilities, projects and even teacher supplements, it holds all the power to get the school board to comply. The county board of commissioners certainly can tell the school board what to do or cut off its funding for all non-essential or non-state mandated projects.
People in the schools would stand up and take notice then.
Commissioner Joe Daughtery said Tuesday, “This is uncalled for that the parents and students at Edgewood have not gotten an answer in regard to the future of the school.”
We agree. But, again, the school calendar is designed in such a way that few surprises can be thrown at elected officials. The county commissioners knew that the school district had not yet announced a final result for Edgewood. But rather than hold the school board’s feet to the fire, the commissioners did nothing, other than funding.
What is to become of the Edgewood Community Developmental School? It appears we all will find out by month’s end. But the answer should have been known so much sooner.