Superintendent And School Board Accept Responsibility

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(Memphis) Superintendent Dorsey Hopson is accepting the blame for some of the school mix-ups, and now school board members say they had a hand in the problems, too.

The Superintendent faced the music for more than an hour Tuesday night as board members asked him some pretty tough questions about bus problems, payroll and other issues.

School board members say the meeting, the first since school started, was an eye-opener because people were forced to own up to all of the problems in a public place.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson publicly accepted responsibility for the merger's shortcomings, but how about the school board?

After all, they’re the ones who put the mega district together.

“I will tell you. the 23 member board was in the late hour in which we approved a lot of the agreements, and transportation strategy, was part of the problem,” said school board member David Reaves.

Reaves and other school board members are the legislative body of the school district, meaning they come up with the plans, but the administration is left to implement them.

Reaves said this is the reason they can’t do much about the ongoing problems.

“The board should not be involved in taking care of operational issues. That should be left up to the administration,” said Reaves.

Reaves said he believes the school board's shortcomings started when they were too slow to approve policies, like who would lead the district.

Though Reaves thinks they will put off bringing superintendent talks back up for a couple of years, school board member Kevin Woods said he believes Hopson’s future will come up within the next few months.

“I think if he wants this job, he’ll be a leading candidate for it,” said Woods.

Until it’s decided, Woods hopes the board shares good and bad with Hopson.

“As a board member, we accept responsibility as well where there were issues we could have done a better job and make sure things are quickly resolved,” said Woods.

They board will meet again next Tuesday, and that’s the last meeting until the school board drops from 23 members to seven.