The Carroll County School District board meetings are never empty. They’re filled with administrators, teachers, parents, community members. There is always a good handful of citizens who faithfully attend the board meetings. However, with the announcement of the board opening up its superintendent search and deciding not to renew the contract of current Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson, board meetings now are now filled to capacity.
Many people in the room are not happy with the board’s decision to hire a new superintendent, and they have made their feelings known since the board voted to seek a new superintendent.
Filled with supporters for Ferguson, the same question is asked over and over at most meetings -- a question that has yet to be answered by board. Where’s the money going to come from for the salary of the newly-appointed Superintendent?
Thursday night was no different. This time the speaker was Malone Dunn, a resident of Carroll County. During the public comments section, Dunn told the board where he stood and gave them some advice in the process.
“I just want to know why y’all are choosing to do this?” Dunn said. “We have a good superintendent here. Do I agree with everything Mr. Ferguson does? No. But, I believe he’s done a dadgum good job with what he has. You now pay him roughly $25,000. For you to get an appointed superintendent, you’ll have to have a salary of $90,000 to $100,000. How are you going to get the money?”
“I think all five of you should go back to the beats who elected you and talk to them and see what they want to do and if this is something they want,” Dunn said, reminding board members that it’s the voters who put them in the position they’re in to vote.
His words were met by applause from the audience, which was followed by a resounding ‘amen.’
Also, during the superintendent’s report, Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson mentioned the importance of a student getting a good night’s rest and preparing for the upcoming state test. He said a lot of parents didn’t understand the pressure their children are faced with dealing with the test.
“We have children as young as third grade who now have testing anxiety because of the test,” Ferguson said. He said his teachers and staff do all they can to ensure the students understand what’s going to be on their test.
He said the school has changed benchmark test to match the test that will be given. Ferguson said it’s hard to match the test because of how much the test changes so much. He said now it’s up to the students.
“We don’t need them out partying or staying up late hanging out,” Ferguson said. “We need them at home getting a good night’s rest and making sure they have a balanced breakfast.”
He said this year the stakes are a little higher as third grades now have to score a Level 4 or 5 in order to pass their reading gate test and be promoted to the next grade.
Ferguson also mentioned that in the next superintendent search, the district could get someone that could bring them down, instead of up.
“When she [Dr. Tommye Henderson] did her presentation, she mentioned that a superintendent from an F school could qualify to be a candidate, so, you know,” Fergu