[Editor’s note: Sara Grimes McBeth applied to fill a vacancy on the Pike County R-III Board of Education. Former Board member Mark Liana was chosen for the position at last week’s board meeting.]
To the people who live in the Clopton District: I often hear people say ‘I dont have any children in the school,’ but you have property in the Clopton District and the school affects your property resale value. I would encourage each and every one of you to stay involved and keep coming to the meetings. The vote will probably be 4-3 on most issues this year but next April will be another [set of] elections. Tyler [Beauchamp] and Linda [Perrone], keep coming and make notes for future reference. We need people like you to step up and help our teachers and students education. The notice of meetings is posted on the Clopton web site under “District” (the home page hasn’t been working). The Sunshine Law says they must be posted 24 hours in advance but a Monday meeting needs to be posted on Friday. Look up the Sunshine Law so you know what is required.
To the taxpayers of Pike County: you pay for someone from the sheriff’s office to come sit at Clopton every board night. Last week you paid for two on duty and one off duty. The people are upset but they are not a danger. Who contacted them? Did the board members know who they were going to choose and were afraid the people would be upset?
To the school board: If you recorded your meetings closed and open you wouldn’t have the problem of what was said in the meeting for the minutes.
A spreadsheet is not a budget, how much income [does the district have] and where [does it come from]? Where is the amount you think you will pay for teachers? Insurance? How much is in the Capital Improvement account? How much Title I money do you get and other Title money and how is it spent? This is Federal money and […] needs to be accounted down to the penny. [It] should be in a special account.
Most people knew who you were going to choose to replace Greg. So why did the rest of us interview? To show that, given a choice, you were going to choose that person. Even if a school board’s relative is the best person for the job, because of your actions that person will have to be better than the best.
During the interview, the question about how you reward outside contracts? How do you do it now? The low bid and, if they have the quality you need they get it, is it not your way? The question was asked about teachers and administrators. Since you have been dealing with the problem — I guess you have been dealing with the problem —what you have been doing must not be working. Has anyone sat down and talked to the teachers without the administrators? They are the backbone of our school! What do they want?
The question about how to deal with the people in the district that are upset: You know but you choose to not deal with it. We feel you are making decisions based on your power struggles. Not what is in the best interest of our teachers and most importantly our children. Having your relatives speak for the School as if they were part of the general public. We knew, [it] didn’t help you or your relatives. The board in Eolia once made the statement we are going to do what we think is right for the people. They weren’t on the board the next election.
Teachers: Help is on the way. If you can hold on one more year. The people of this area will not forget. As you read the local papers, you will see that Clopton has great students. Their achievements are profiled both in the classroom and in sports.
If you are a person who can translate a spread sheet into a budget that shows income and expenses, please, help. The next step would be a list of bills, who got paid, for what and how much is in each account. Everyone can help.
This is not because I was not chosen, I knew that when I submitted my letter of intent. Just for the record, all candidates should be asked the same questions, in the same way and order.
Sara Grimes McBeth
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