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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 4:01am

Montgomery Schools Board Under Scrutiny

The state board of education has delayed its decision on whether to oust members of the embattled Montgomery County School Board.

Members unanimously agreed to postpone a final recommendation until after the county board has had more time to address problems that led it being put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

SACS placed the county’s board on probation earlier this month after community members complained that board members operated in secrecy and inappropriately intervened in school operations and personnel decisions.

State board members expressed deep concerns over the county board’s leadership. Local board members responded that with a new superintendent and more training, they could move forward.

The district’s new superintendent, Randy Rogers, told the state that he believed removing board members would hurt the district’s attempts to rehabilitate, and that board members should be given a chance.

"How can you tell somebody to do something and put them in danger of losing their board of education and not give them the opportunity to work through the things for which they have been accused and for which required actions have been formulated?" Rogers said.

But Adrian Bell, a parent of two in the school system, said that state board members should have probed more deeply into how the board operates.

"There was just so much stuff left on the table that should have been brought out," Bell said. "They just took the easy way out, gave these people more time to continue to mess up the school system, and that is just so unfortunate."

The state board agreed to meet again, no later than next March, to evaluate the board’s progress and make a final recommendation to the governor, who could then strip the local board members of their positions.

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