County schools address redistricting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Staff Writer

Members of the Pike County Board of Education have some work to do with the Pike County Commission.

During the board’s meeting Monday night, members discussed redistricting.

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In the past, the board of education’s lines have followed those of the county commission’s, making it less confusing for voters.

While the commissioners have met to discuss redistricting, which must be done every 10 years after the census results are reported, the board of education has not had any official meetings with the commission.

"I think it’s essential you do meet with them to iron out any differences," said John Key, superintendent of the county school system.

He told board members they "have just as much right" to offer input into the districts or can choose to devise their own.

"These lines are going to change," he said referring to the obvious population shifts impacting the county commission districts.

Outgoing board president Norman Chandler said "it’s very important" the board meets with the commission and others agreed.

"I think everyone needs to have input," board member Linda Steed said.

Key reminded them "time is of the essence" in the matter since the maps must be submitted to the United States Justice Department, which must have at least 60 days, but can take up to 90 days, to consider. Approval must be handed down before qualifying begins in March.

Chandler suggested the school board meet with the commission on Dec. 10 after both have their respective meetings.

In other business, the board:

· Chose Herbert Reynolds as its new president and retained Earnest Green as vice president.

· Considered interdistrict transfers, approving two ­ one until the end of the first semester ­ and denying another. Approval of one is contingent on locating the residence in question.

· Discussed having a board member attend the National School Board Association convention April 6-9 in New Orleans.

· Approved a request by Eveyln Watson to attend the Career and Technical Education Conference, Dec. 12-15 in New Orleans, with expenses being paid by the School to Work program.

· Approved a request by Elizabeth Grubbs to attend a required meeting for Indian Education Project Directors in Dallas, Texas, Dec. 19-21.

· Authorized Key to take the lowest bid on property insurance.

The system’s property insurance will be canceled as of Jan. 15 because the company was located in the World Trade Center.

Currently, the system pays around $26,700 for coverage, but is expecting to pay 30 to 40 percent more because of the economy.

· Approved the employment, retroactive to Nov. 13, of Arlisa Johnson as part-time aid for the special education department at Pike County High School.

· Approved Tammy Calhoun’s request for maternity leave of absence from Jan. 7 until Feb. 19.

· Went into executive session to discuss two matters ­ one involving student disciplinary action.

Alabama’s Sunshine Law states public boards, may go behind closed doors "when the character or good name of a woman or man is involved."

Anyone found to have violated the Sunshine Law is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined no less than $10 and no more than $500.