09/13/17 — Board agrees to stop transfers

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Board agrees to stop transfers

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on September 13, 2017 5:50 AM

The Wayne County Board of Education voted to place a moratorium on all student transfers during the redistricting process at its meeting Monday, including those to schools with the space to receive new students.

The vote came during discussion on how the district should calculate school capacity during redistricting. The board voted to continue using the current model -- a conservative estimate which sets a recommended capacity for schools -- while also factoring mobile units in to a school's total capacity.

That course of action was recommended by the student assignment committee after its first meeting on Wednesday. The board approved it unanimously.

After that vote concluded, board member Patricia Burden, at the encouragement of board member Len Henderson, made the motion to block all transfers while the district works on redistricting.

Henderson said that the move was intended to give the district a stable base to work from while making assignment policy.

"It is very difficult for us to make concrete decisions about some of the practices we've done in the past," he said. "That's why it's important for us to go ahead and request this moratorium, so we can get a good feel for where our students are."

Burden, who serves on the board's policy committee, said that making new policy would be very difficult without those exact numbers, as the committee would not be able to compare schools with and without the transfers to determine their impact.

Burden, Henderson, board chairman Arnold Flowers and board members Richard Pridgen and Raymond Smith Jr. voted in favor of the moratorium. Board members Chris West voted against it, and board member Jennifer Strickland was not present.

In other business, the board reappointed Veda McNair to the Wayne Community College board of trustees, having opened the voting process up after West was deemed ineligible for the position due to his spot on the board of education.

The board originally voted to appoint West to the trustee position in June, after McNair -- then board chair -- suggested the reappointment of trustee Terry Jordan. The board instead voted 4-2 to create an "in-house" seat occupied by West, but later learned that statutes prevent an active board member or WCPS employee from sitting on the board of trustees.

Instead, the board opened the position to public nominations. McNair has served on the board of trustees since 2005, and ended her third appointment by the Wayne County Commissioners in July. She said she is excited to get back to work.

"It means a great deal to be appointed, I've served for 12 years," she said. "I've enjoyed serving, and I'm looking forward to serving in whatever way I can, because I love Wayne Community College and I love Wayne County Public Schools."

McNair worked for WCPS until 2008, when she retired as principal at Eastern Wayne Elementary.

The board of education unanimously appointed her from a pool of five applicants, with no discussion.