On October 10 the Charlton County Board of Education held a regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00 p.m.
During the meeting, Reverend Bobby Roberson was recognized for public comments. He shared he had a few concerns about the selection process for the superintendent and principal position. He asked if King Cooper, which is the company used by the board to carry out the hiring process for the superintendent, was being transparent during the hiring process. Board attorney, Patrick Brooks explained that the board was not legally obligated to answer any questions. At this time, Roberson asked if he could still share his concerns and if he would ever get answers. Brooks explained he could still ask his questions, but his questions did not have to be answered. Roberson continued with his questions.
He asked, if the finalists have all the qualifications, as he was unable to find a list of the qualifications. He also asked if out of 23 applications, did any black citizens apply and if they were interviewed. He stated he would like answers as fast as possible and asked if ethics and morals were considered when naming the finalists. Roberson asked where to send an open records request and explained that he is speaking for himself and the African American community, who he stated are dis-satisfied with how the board is operating the schools.
Roberson said, “We pay taxes. We have a right to ask questions and get answers.” Roberson mentioned his experience as a pastor and said, “I’m not looking for an Amen, just answers.”
Roberson concluded by saying, “This isn’t the last of me.”
Also during the meeting, the board approved minutes from the September 15 work session, September 15 regular meeting, September 24 called meeting, October 9 called meeting, October 11 called meeting, and the October 13 called meeting. The board approved accounts payable and the financial report.
Superintendent Dr. John Lairsey stated there are 1,613 total students enrolled. Last year at this time, the number was 1,615. Pre-K in St. George currently has 19 children and Pre-K at Folkston Elementary is at 50 children. There are a total of 203 students who are doing virtual learning, but the number is expected to drop.
The board approved a field trip for the High School Basketball team to go to Turner County High School for a basketball tournament. This will be a two-day tournament beginning on December 22 and ending on December 23 and will be overnight.
The board approved a purchase of a work van for the maintenance department, which will be purchased with SPLOST funds. The purchase is from Don Jackson Commercial for $27,977.
The board approved the use of the middle school gym for a wrestling tournament.
The board approved a bid from MTC for new phone lines for the school system. The current lines are 10 years old and are $6,000.00 a month while MTC will cost $2,845.00 a month. This will do away with long-distance but the fax machines will still run on Windstream. The board will save $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 a year.
The board approved the updated policies based on federal and state law changes for policies; JAA, JCAC, GAAA, and GAEB.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be November 17 at 7:00 p.m.