Interactive Radar: Track Storms

SCS School Board Responsibilities Take A Backseat

(Memphis) There is outrage from some over a number of Shelby County school board members ditching their responsibilities to students for their own.

With just a couple of weeks until schools open, some board members think it’s more important to vacation than figure out what to do about some major issues so school can open.

The chairman says he may have to call a special meeting that enough board members can attend so they can take a vote, since so many will probably miss next week’s regular meeting.

The school district still has to settle some pretty big issues, like a grading policy and what to do about using corporal punishment in schools.

Right now, there are 23 people on the Shelby County School Board.

Most of them will go away in September when the board shrinks to seven.

With the clock ticking on their term, critics say they’re slacking off and aren’t ready to give them a passing grade.

David Reaves is one of the seven board members who will stick around.

“When we officially merged the districts July 1st, we probably should have officially gone to seven at that point,” said Reeves.

Reaves says the meetings have been pretty light all summer, but with school starting so soon, board work should be a priority.

“I very specifically rearranged vacation plans to make sure I was here for this time of the year. I think it’s important to see this work to the end,” said Reaves.

Chairman Billy Orgel says it’s not a big deal if people miss meetings because the district can fall back on Shelby County Schools policies already in place.

“We’re making some minor tweaks on certain policies and I don’t think there is anything that will prevent us from starting schools,” said Orgel.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald says this is exactly the type of thing the suburbs are trying to get away from.

“You asked to do that and then you don`t have time. I mean it`s a mindset that I don`t understand personally. It’s a commitment that they made,” said McDonald.

McDonald says Bartlett started planning last year and have all the groundwork laid to start their own districts since last December, and he thinks they were able to work so quickly because everyone planning has the same common goal.

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