MCSB discusses citizens' trust after voters approve Amendment 1

MCSB discusses citizens' trust after voters approve Amendment 1

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  It was an intense meeting among Muscogee County School board members during Monday night's meeting.

A conversation turned into disagreements about the community's trust in the district after county voters supported Opportunity School Districts for failing schools, a measure that failed statewide.

This subject was already part of the pre-meeting agenda.

Board members knew coming into Monday's meeting that District 8's Frank Myers requested time to voice his concern and his opinion that voters in Muscogee County have lost faith in this administration.

"It is hard not to get the message that this is a message of no confidence," Myers said. 

Myers said he did agree with the administration's collective stance on Amendment 1, calling it a "dramatic" public stance. 

"It's also dramatic," Myers said, "to think that the majority of Muscogee County citizens were willing to take the extreme step in turning over control of some of our local schools to the State."

Myers' claim was met with some disagreement from board members. Muscogee County and six other counties voted yes on Amendment 1. Others reminded Myers that Georgia's other 152 counties rejected it.

"To pick out certain counties is a moot point," said District 1 and board vice-chair Patricia Hugley Green. "It's irrelevant... failed miserably."

Even though Muscogee County went "Yes" on Amendment 1, it wasn't by a landslide, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's website. The vote went 51 percent "Yes" to 49 percent "No." 

Myers did have support on calling out the board's shortcomings from District 2 member John Thomas.

"This result validates the position Frank Myers and I have been taking," Thomas said. "And I continue to be proud to stand with Frank on the short end of may 7-2 votes that continue to rubber stamp our schools as failures."

While others like at-large board member Kia Chambers said she felt this debate distracts from the progress seen so far in district schools.

"We have to do that by focusing on the real issue and not get sidetracked," Chambers said.

For Myers, however, it's a sign the administration has to produce better results.

"The only thing more embarrassing than having our community vote to give control of some of our schools to the state, would be if we failed to answer the clarion call to fix our schools," Myers said.

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