By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The Edgecombe County commissioners and board of education (BOE) members will meet Tuesday for an open discussion about the school system.
“We meet with our county commissioners once a year prior to submitting our budget request,” said BOE Chair Ann Kent.
The public is invited to the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the Edgecombe County Administrative Building at 201 St. Andrews St. in Tarboro.
At the meeting, Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent John Farrelly will give a “state of the system” address discussing current initiatives, as well as goals and challenges in the district, such as raising student test scores. The commissioners and BOE members also will discuss a joint playground use initiative to address liability issues concerning people’s use of school playgrounds after regular school hours. That initiative is also an item of information on the agenda for the school board’s regularly scheduled Monday evening meeting.
Kent said she appreciates the county commissioners’ support of the school system over the years, and the open communication between the two parties.
“We think they’re the most wonderful county commissioners that a school system could have. They’re the best partners ever,” Kent said. She added that the commissioners “share with us everything they possibly can,” even though there’s “never enough money” in the budget to fulfill all the needs in the county.
The county commissioners’ budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was $58,520,618. Out of those funds, 21.5 percent went to education, and $1.8 million of that allotment went to the public schools’ building capital fund.
“The primary money that they give us is for buildings and grounds,” Kent said. She said the school district has a number of facilities that “constantly need structural work” and roofing repairs done to them, and because the district is not a growing system, it works with the structures it already has in place rather than building new facilities.