OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/18/13) – Owensboro Public School Board of Education members were divided over concerns about a lack of representation for the district’s preschool facility, but decided it’s really too late in the process to do much about it.
At the board’s luncheon meeting on Tuesday, board chairperson Nancy Eskridge asked the board to consider finding a way to add a member to the developing Local Planning Committee from the preschool. The LPC is a group that is created periodically in Kentucky school districts to review building and education concerns, and to plot out the direction the district should take based on an extensive review of such issues.
At issue was the structure of how members for OPS’ LPC are selected. Primarily the members are required to live within the school district boundaries, but it was pointed out during the meeting that none of the current preschool faculty lives within that area. Members discussed the possibility of securing a waiver as well as the idea of asking an LPC member to take a non-voting seat on the group so that a preschool teacher or administrator would have that place, but board members Steven Knight and Cate Lauzon said they didn’t think last-minute changes to the list – particularly for the reasons presented – are a good idea.
“It’s already set. Why change it?” Knight said in expressing his opposition.
“I’d be good either way but I think we should have dealt with it earlier… rather than asking people to leave,” she said. “I don’t want to start asking people not to be members. It’s an uncomfortable situation to be in.”
Eskridge said the preschool has a history of being treated as an “accessory” by the rest of the district.
“I think voting is an important, critical issue,” she said. “That’s my opinion. I am not sure that anyone is as committed to Early Childhood Education as anyone in that building.”
Ultimately, the board decided to leave the list as is, but to work with preschool staff to encourage them to attend the LPC meetings to give input. The list will be formally presented and approved at the board’s regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 24.
The board on Tuesday also briefly reviewed routine budgetary issues and looked over the tentative agenda for next week’s regular meeting before OPS Superintendent Nick Brake wrapped up the luncheon with a review of new Kentucky Department of Education priorities to be presented in the upcoming legislative session. He said the list of priorities has been reduced from about 45 in previous years to just a handful, and went over the list of goals with the board.
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