Lee School Board discusses legislative matter

Jun. 04, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

Politics were the focus of Tuesday night’s Lee County Board of Education meeting, but the school board got started on a lighter note as the J. Glenn Edwards Elementary School chorus serenaded the crowd with several songs.

The board waited for the students and their parents to file out, then launched into discussion of several controversial political measures to have come out of the General Assembly in these first few days of the legislative session.

One bill in the House singled out just five counties statewide, including Lee County, in which school boards would be banned from suing boards of county commissioners over allegations of unfairly low funding. And in the Senate, that chamber passed a budget which would give teachers substantial raises — but only if they agree to give up their tenure status.

On a lighter note, Supt. Andy Bryan spoke about the special graduation held last week for the 600 students earning additional technical credentials on top of their general high school education.

“That provides them with the opportunity for employment, education and greater success once they leave us,” Bryan said, congratulating the school board for taking a general vision — of having students graduate with more than just a diploma — and turning it into real results.

The board’s vice chairman, Mark Akinosho, said his students took classes like welding in high school. And even though they have since gone on to the Ivy League and other prestigious universities, he said they still value those experiences and skills.

Board member Tamara Brogan said she’s excited to see the school district preparing to expand its career and technical class offerings, as well as career skills academies, in the near future.

“We’re going above and beyond by offering these to our students,” she said.

In other actions, the board:

* Gave Bryan permission to write state leaders about various pieces of legislation.

* Approved dozens of policy updates.

* Honored the custodial team of Tameika Judd, Dennis McIver and Fletcher Siler, from B.T. Bullock Elementary School, with the Clean School of the Month award.