In Response To School Board Votes To Hire Project Manager In The Rocky Mount Telegram

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The Opinion of Curmilus Butch Dancy II

So the following appears that the school board and the commissioners are at odds over hiring a project management services. It appears that the Nash County Commissioners wants to run the school board and if that be the case they may as well dismantle the school board. I like it the school board is taking a stand on the hiring of a project manager services.

“School board member Ann Edge made the motion to “authorize the board chair and the superintendent to execute a contract with Cumming Program Management, using a school system form as may need to be modified by the board attorney and interim superintendent to provide initial project management services through the bidding phase in an amount that shall not exceed $167,000, and for the board to request reimbursement of these funds from the Nash County commissioners.”

That motion was immediately and unanimously approved.”

“We have no intention of paying for the use of a project management firm,” Davis said. “I am concerned about this decision because I fear it will slow the progress toward building the new school.”

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Principals oppose moving graduations – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: For me the following is a bunch of b.s. Speaking only for me I would not have cared if I just received my diploma in the mail. I never liked graduations however I have seen how others enjoy that moment. Now from my perspective every year I see students trying to get tickets to accommodate more members of their family at the graduation. If a student has a moma and a dad be it by birth or by whatever that they want to attend that is 2 tickets. If the student has 2 sets of living grandparents that is 4 more tickets. If the student has a couple of brothers and sisters that they want to attend say 2 more tickets and then if they have that favorite aunt or uncle they want to attend that is 2 more tickets. If that student has a boyfriend or girlfriend that they want to attend that is 1 more ticket. Wow do the math. But I don’t think this is not reasonable since if a student is excited about his or her graduation then hell I would think they would want all of the above present. But then again this is just my ignant opinion and nobody else. I have been volunteering my services videoing and taking photos at my high school graduations over the years and posting them on YouTube. However every year I have family and friends that graduate. Last year had a niece that I had forgot all about attended the school.

The Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education heard this week from high school principals about the question of whether graduation ceremonies should be moved to the Rocky Mount Event Center to allow more people to attend — and the answer was a resounding “no.”

Dr. Mark Cockrell, chief academic officer for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, presented the information to school board members to consider during a work session before the regular school board meeting on Monday.

“At various times, discussion has been held about the issue of graduation venues and the board has asked for additional information and high school principal feedback so I am bringing that to you for your ongoing consideration of whether to continue to have graduations held in the traditional settings or to move them to one site,” Cockrell said.

Each of the school board members were presented with a letter from the high school principals in the district.

The letter said: (Read more)

Schools put on new path – Rocky Mount Telegram (So Why Is Robbie Davis Nash County Commissioner The Spokesperson?)

The Political Agitator’s response: I find it interesting Robbie Davis make such comments saying he think it was the right move for the district and it seems like a good decision. Based on what sir? I hate when folk give statements with no facts to back up what they say. Hell Robbie ran former Black Superintendent Anthony Jackson out of town because he challenged his ass about some work he did at a school. Now I don’t know all of the details why he left but I do know Jackson did that. Wow! Ain’t that something allowing someone to speak about the Superintendent when he could challenge whoever this is. A former member of the school board, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the way Jefferies resigned without receiving additional payments is telling. My ignant ass would say that this is a Caucasian board member because I have never heard a Black person use the term telling. Wendy Wilson tickles me because they have been wanting to make Dr. Mark Cockrell the Superintendent for quite some time. But folk need to really check him out. I remember him from Edgecombe County Public Schools. Damn since Robbie Davis is not on the School Board why in the hell is he the spokesperson? Damn dude got issues with the Rocky Mount City Council, Edgecombe County Public Schools and the Edgecombe County Commissioners. Interesting they are all a Black Majority boards. Oh Race ain’t got nothing to do with nothing.

Several local leaders have said Shelton Jefferies’ resignation as superintendent of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools should bode well for the future of the school district.

Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis said he feels that Jefferies’ resignation was the right move for the school district.

“The board of commissioners is not involved in the process of choosing a school superintendent or overseeing the kind of job he does,” he said. “But this seems like a good decision. We are pleased that the decision to accept his resignation was unanimous this time because it wasn’t last time. I think that will help in the transition and the decisions the board makes for the school district in the future.”

A former member of the school board, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the way Jefferies resigned without receiving additional payments is telling. Under the terms of Jefferies’ original contract, if the school board unilaterally decided to let him go without cause, they would have had to pay his salary for the next 12 months.

“I suspect the board told Jefferies it believed it had cause for termination but that it would allow him to resign if he would agree not to seek the severance payment,” he said. “His choices were to accept the offer to allow him to resign or refuse to give up the payout, face termination, fight the termination and try to prove at the hearing that there were not valid grounds for his termination. He would do this only if he believed he would win.” (Read more)

Teacher gets deal in assault – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: These Special Cs tickles the hell out of me. Look at the comments.

A former Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools teacher has entered into an agreement to avoid prosecution in a case in which she’s accused of assaulting a middle-school student.

Jamie Dunn, 35, of Spring Hope, has been placed on unsupervised probation for six months and her case will be dismissed if she completes the following steps: 24 hours of community service, 90 days of supervised probation, an anger management course, and she is to stay away from the student and her family, according to court documents.

Dunn’s accused of using a closed fist to hit a 15-year-old female student on the arm April 30 at Rocky Mount Middle School, according to Dunn’s arrest warrant. The incident occurred in Dunn’s classroom. (Read more)

Superintendent’s vehicle use raises questions – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: These Special Cs tickles the hell out of me. Look at the comments. They take an article and run with it. But when it is about white folk they are almost silent. And when black folk respond to their ignance, they play victim.

Superintendent Shelton Jefferies traveled more than 29,000 miles in a fleet vehicle belonging to Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools in the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to information obtained by the Rocky Mount Telegram.

That is in comparison to 1,607 miles traveled in a fleet vehicle shared by the entire cabinet staff and 2,671 miles traveled in a fleet vehicle shared by the entire technology staff for the same year.

“Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools has a fleet of district vehicles, including approximately 35 vehicles in the maintenance Department, nine vehicles in the transportation department and one vehicle assigned for the superintendent’s use,” Nash-Rocky Mount Chief of Staff Brian Miller said in an email in answer to a request for public information.

The fleet vehicle used exclusively by Jefferies is on track to travel about the same number of miles this school year. Jefferies already has driven the vehicle 22,826 miles as of April 1, with three months left in the fiscal year (Read more)

School board weighs pay cuts – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator’s response: This is quite interesting. I believe that the issue is Nash County Commissioners have not paid their fair share to fund the schools over the years. It is interesting how the Nash County Commissioners spent all of that time trying to exclude Rocky Mount City Council from paying a part while trying to create division with Edgecombe County Schools who did not get the monies to upkeep the schools on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount. Look at the schools that were closed and/or that were talking about being closed but the new construction that was done on the Nash Side and the construction that will come. However got to do some more research on this been out of the loop for quite some time now. I haven’t attended a Nash-Rocky Mount School Board meeting in quite some time now.

Teachers in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools may be seeing less money in their paychecks for the rest of the school year.

The finance committee of the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools met Thursday afternoon and approved a recommendation that would slash 35 percent of supplement pay from certified staff, including teachers and administrators, from now till the end of the fiscal year. The measure will have to be approved by the full school board before it takes effect. That meeting is scheduled for April 1, but a special called meeting may take place before then to take the measure under consideration.

The move is necessary in order to avoid the reduction in force proposed last fall to balance this year’s school budget. At that time, the school board was considering a reduction in force of 13 full-time positions, including five positions from the technology department, two media specialists, three guidance counselors and three social workers in order to save $1.4 million. But that plan was met with widespread opposition from the community. (Read more)

Ex-teacher charged with hitting student – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Gate Keeper’s response: Do anyone remember this video: Rocky Mount NC Middle Parent Question Her Daughter Being Harassed, Bullied And Possibly Assaulted

A former Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools teacher will appear in court Monday at the Rocky Mount Judicial Center to face charges of assault in connection with an incident that happened in her classroom in April 2018.

Jamie Dunn, 35, of Spring Hope, is charged with simple assault. She’s accused of using a closed fist to hit a 15-year-old female student on the arm on April 30 at Rocky Mount Middle School, according to her arrest warrant.

School district officials confirmed that Dunn was teaching English/Language Arts at the school last year. Dunn taught in the school district for more than 11 years.

Rocky Mount police Senior Officer Vickey Hussey, the school resource officer at Rocky Mount Middle School at the time of the incident, filed an initial report with Cpl. T.C. Wilder, who conducted the investigation, according to court information. Wilder issued a criminal summons to Dunn for simple assault, said Sgt. Brad Summerlin, public information officer for the Rocky Mount Police Department. (Read More)

School board elects new leaders – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Watch Dog response: Wow! Interesting! The voting shows there are changes going on amongst the board that used to didn’t vote together.

NASHVILLE — Ann Edge, the former vice chairwoman of the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education, now leads the school board.

The move came at the school board meeting on Thursday night. Each January, the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education elects school board leaders for the year, according to board policy. At Monday night’s meeting, school board member Wayne Doll nominated Wendy Wilson, who served as chairwoman during 2017, to serve again.

“Ms. Wilson has done an excellent job as chairman, and I feel that should continue,” Doll said.

However, school board member LaShawnda Washington proposed that Edge should become chairwoman. The matter came to a vote and Edge won the position by a vote of 7 to 4, with school board members Wayne Doll, Franklin Lamm, Ricky Jenkins and Wilson herself voting for Wilson and the other board members supporting Edge. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Some Nash Rocky Mount schools open Monday – Rocky Mount Telegram

By Amelia Harper
Staff Writer

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and Rocky Mount Preparatory School will re-open Monday after a week of closures, but Edgecombe County Schools may not re-open for awhile as one school is flooded and another is surrounded by floodwater. “Princeville Elementary School is flooded at this point and will have to be evaluated by FEMA before we can make any decisions as to when we can get back in,” said Susan Hoke, communications coordinator for Edgecombe County Public Schools.

“In the meantime, Superintendent (John) Farrelly is working on a plan for where to send Princeville Elementary students.” Hoke also said that W.A. Patillo Middle School is surrounded by floodwater. “As far as we know, the school is not flooded, but no one can get to it right now,” Hoke said. Hoke said that no school closures for Monday had been announced, but an announcement regarding school attendance would be issued this afternoon. The situation in Edgecombe County is further complicated by the fact that both Tarboro High School and Martin Millennium Academy still are being used as Red Cross emergency shelters for displaced residents.

The shelter at Martin Millennium Academy had been closed but was reopened Wednesday to help deal with overflow from other area shelters. The missing class time may not cause as many make-up days as it would have in the past. Vanessa Jeter, communications director for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, said schools have increased flexibility under the state’s new calendar law and should be able to deal with the additional school closure time without resorting to many make-up days. That decision is left to each school system.

“The new calendar law requires schools to meet 185 days or 1,025 hours during the academic year. Under this law, a school system could actually meet about 170 days for six hours each day and still fulfill the state requirements,” Jeter said. Jeter also said the N.C. General Assembly could have the option of waiving some of the required attendance days when it meets for its long session in January. “It is really too early for school systems to need extra days off at this point,” Jeter said. “We will have to see how the winter goes.”

Though Edgecombe County Public Schools will be closed on Monday, the school board will meet on Monday night at 6:30 at the Central Office location on Pearl Street. This meeting was rescheduled from October 10, when it originally was slated. North East Carolina Prep and Edgecombe Community College have not announced closures for Monday as of press time, though floodwaters linger through much of the area. For updated information on school closures, go to rockymounttelegram.com.

Filing opens for school board seats – Rocky Mount Telegram

Filing to run for a seat on the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education opens at noon today.

The filing period will run through Aug. 5.

Six seats on the board will be up for grabs during the Nov. 8 General Election.

Seats in Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 11 are up for election. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Local officials applaud school bill – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Watch Dog response: So is it really about the following COMPROMISE? “Edgecombe County is to pay a prorated share of all capital spending based on student population and will pick up the payment from Rocky Mount in four years for all operating expenses.” So they want Rocky Mount City Council out of the equation? What will the next Compromise be?

A new state law preventing a split of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools is being met with varying degrees of acceptance by local leaders who worked on the issue for years.

Nash County officials are happy with the legislation passed unanimously Wednesday by the N.C. General Assembly, while Edgecombe County officials like the big picture, but are cold on some of the details.

The law closely resembles the final deal offered by Nash County officials to the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners. Nash Commissioner Robbie Davis, who helped introduce the school funding discussion, said he is pleased with the bill. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Our View: School split stalemate goes to Raleigh – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Watch Dog response: What I see here is just a COMPROMISE but for what? Will someone tell me why the need to do anything because the folk on Edgecombe County shops on the Nash side and they are reaping the economic benefits. But what tickles the hell out of me is the argument was that Robbie and Fred wanted Rocky Mount City to stop paying into the school system. I heard that the only reason the mess went to Raleigh was because Edgecombe agreed to 5 of the 7 items in the COMPROMISE. Again everybody I talk to says it was about COMPROMISE. Damn compromising children of Rocky Mount? So what will the next COMPROMISE be? Hell I ain’t mad just want to know the real significance of all this.

The failure of locally elected officials to negotiate a reasonable compromise over the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools district lines comes as a disappointment to all of us who had hoped for a settlement to emerge from the Twin Counties. But we’re heartened, at least, to see legislators from both sides of the county line working on a bill to be submitted to the N.C. General Assembly.

Prior to this week, it seemed that any legislation would be drafted by N.C. Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash, at the request of Nash County commissioners. The Nash County board has been the instigator in the plan to split the school system if Edgecombe County did not pay more for. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Press Release: Democratic Legislators Statement on School System Compromise

 

       
   

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North Carolina General Assembly

State Legislative Building

Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

For Immediate Release – June 15, 2016

Rep. Shelly Willingham-D-Edgecombe; Rep. Bobbie Richardson, D-Franklin; Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash; Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram, D-Northampton.

For more information:  Contact Rep. Shelly Willingham – 252-813-0381 or Rep. Bobbie Richardson – 919-971-0571

Nash-Edgecombe Democratic Legislators Statement on School System Compromise

On June 15, Rep. Collins in the House Rules Committee replaced Senate Bill 382, formerly a transportation bill on the ferry system, with a compromise to prevent a split of the Nash-Rocky Mount school system. After a week of deliberations, the bill will address the financial concerns of the Nash County commissioners along with a name change in 2020 and a moratorium on lawsuits by the NRMS Board.  The bill also directs the city of Rocky Mount to pay the operations gap to Nash per Edgecombe County pupil for the next four years. Edgecombe County will handle the capital gap beginning in 2016-17, and in 2020, Edgecombe County will be responsible for all costs.  In a surprise move by Collins, the bill includes a trigger provision, that would set up a process for and de-merge the NRMS if the payments are not made as scheduled. In addition, the Local Government Commission will review and certify any issues regarding failure to make payments under this new legislation.

“While we do not support the name change, lawsuit or de-merger trigger provisions, we are relieved that this compromise arrangement will preserve the Nash-Rocky Mount school system, which was our number one priority,” said N.C. Rep Bobbi Richardson, D-Franklin. “It is estimated that name change will cost over $500,000, and those funds could definitely be better used for direct educational purposes.”

In addition to the financial directives, the bill includes a moratorium to prevent a lawsuit from occurring over the next 10 years by the Nash Rocky Mount School Board against Nash County over school funding. Although a split will be averted, a school system name change, to “Nash Administrative Unit” and “Nash School Board”, omitting Rocky Mount, will occur once the city finalizes its participation in the funding.

“I am satisfied that we got the best arrangement we could get to include the financial directives that our constituents support,” acknowledges N.C. Rep. Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe. “Although I am not a proponent of the name change, the lawsuit and the de-merger trigger provisions, the preservation of the school system and the financial provisions approved by Edgecombe are the most significant aspects of this bill. Keeping the system intact is pivotal for the region, for economic development, and most importantly, for our students and families. We’re glad that we could work together as a local delegation to reach an agreement. Now, we can begin to concentrate on other issues.”

Senators Bryant and Smith-Ingram issued a joint statement:  “We appreciate the heavy lifting done by our house delegation members and all the citizens and civic and business leaders in both counties who worked to save the Nash Rocky Mount Schools and our belief in regional collaboration. Like our Democratic colleagues in the House, we are not supportive of all the provisions, and we worry that the de-merger trigger provisions have not been sufficiently reviewed or vetted by us, the school systems or others potentially affected; however, at least in a worst case scenario, de-merger will be handled by the local school boards. We strongly oppose the heavy-handed process that led to this compromise, and the unnecessary trigger provisions that go beyond any language acted on in any public meetings by the Commissioners.  Moving forward, we will remain vigilant to protect our constituents from “trigger-happy” truce breakers.” 

Nash County commissioners questioned the funding formula over a year ago, challenging the 1992 legislation which created the Nash-Rocky Mount school system, resulting in the dismissal of a desegregation lawsuit. Since 1992, Rocky Mount has provided the gap funding for Edgecombe County students to ensure the same amount of funding per pupil is provided for students in both counties.  Rep. Jeff Collins, D-Nash joined a majority of the Nash Commissioners in threatening to de-merge the system if their ever-changing demands were not met, and Democratic legislators fought along with the City and Edgecombe County and three of the Democratic Nash Commissioners to keep the focus solely on the financial issues and saving the system.

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Open Letter to Edgecombe County Commissioners Pertaining To Nash-Rocky Mount And Edgecombe County Public Schools De-merger

I sure hope you my Edgecombe County Commissioners do not bow down to the Nash County Commissioners as they push the Nash-Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County Public Schools split.

It is obvious that the split is being pushed by Nash County Commissioners Robbie Davis (WM) and Fred Belfield (BM). I don’t understand how Belfield has bought into Davis mess.

It will be a sad time if you allow these 2 jokers to make you all agree to their terms when it will put a burden on Edgecombe County and also what folk don’t understand it will not be good for Nash County either.

I am so glad to see the numerous letters to the editor in the Rocky Mount Telegram whereby several folk have collectively and singularly voiced their concerns against the de-merger. For me this should be enough for Edgecombe County to not agree to the de-merger under any terms.

The main thing if I am correct is Nash County Commissioners have tried to paint a picture of why the de-merger is necessary by trying to eliminate the Rocky Mount City Council from participating in the funding process. They have also made it clear they do not want them at the table. I say it is because the Rocky Mount City Council is a black majority council and many have had a problem with that when they seen it about to happen. Well the saying is if you are not at the table you are on the menu.

I am asking my Edgecombe County Commissioners to not agree to the de-merger on any terms and simply because Nash County Commissioners have not presented a real reason why it is necessary. This has nothing to do with Educating children but more about POWER!

Thanking you in advance.

See letters: Nash-Rocky Mount School Split Mess – These Letters Speak Volume

Sincerely,

Curmilus Dancy II
The Watch Dog 

 

Nash-Rocky Mount School Split Mess – These Letters Speak Volume

The whole mess about this school split is just ignant. Mess need to be put to an end! Do you see Nash County going bankrupt or for the most part struggling economically?

The problem is: Politics – I Refuse To Play It Safe Rocky Mount School Split Who Is Behind It?


Click on links to read letters you will be glad that you did.

Nash Rocky Mount Schools Split Controversy: Letter to Editor by Pastor James D. Gilliard

Letter to the Editor: Progress on school system is encouraging; press on to find solution –– As the new plant manager at Cummins here in Rocky Mount, I am deeply concerned about the future of our local school corporation. JOHN JUDD Rocky Mount

Letter to the Editor: Don’t let divisiveness over schools fester in Rocky Mount community.

Letter to the Editor: Why push for schools split against wishes of city, mayor and board?

Letter to the Editor: Commissioners should reconsider schools split plan

Letter to the Editor: Business leaders urge commissioners to reconsider school split plan

Letter to the Editor: Nash commissioners should learn the value of compromise

Letter to the Editor: City residents aren’t overburdened by funding Edgecombe schools