by Sam Hieb
Well, not really, but that’s how Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow more or less characterized the school board in today’s N&R article discussing the tension between the two boards:
…Yow, a Republican, and Skip Alston, a Democrat, have their own theory: Guilford County Schools hides too much “fluff” in its budget requests and has botched construction projects, they said.
For example, Jamestown residents are still waiting for the construction of a new middle school that was promised to them during a 2003 bond but was postponed because of construction cost increases on other projects.
Yow, who frequently rails against what he perceived as district excesses, compared the school board to a “drug addict that can’t get enough.”
OK, let’s analyze this situation. Yesterday, we discussed how the school board wasn’t getting along with the City of High Point. Today, we’re talking about how they’re not getting along with county commissioners. I’m no psychologist, but when someone can’t get along with different sets of people, then usually they’re the one with the problem.
That said, I’m amazed at the lack of communication between commissioners and the school system in general. Superintendent Terry (8 percent raise) Grier should be seated alongside county staff at every single commissioners’ meeting, ready and available to answer questions. As I’ve said before, Grier is two totally different people at commissioners’ meetings and BOE meetings. On those rare occasions when he does appear before commissioners (instead of dispatching board chairman Alan Duncan), Grier speaks straightforwardly, laying out the system’s issues for commissioners to consider. At board of education meetings, however, he reverts to educrat-speak, which only confuses board members further.
School board member Anita Sharpe did, however, present another idea about how to eliminate tension between the two boards:
Ultimately, Sharpe shares a growing sentiment on the school board to obtain its own financial independence and win taxing authority from the state.
For God’s sake, anything but that.