MPS Board votes down "eastside" high school plans

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In a twist of events, members of the Montgomery County Board of Education shot down a move to go forward with plans for an "eastside" high school.

Speechless, superintendent Barbara Thompson watched as two of her proposals died.  First up, a planned "eastside" high school with a price tag of more than $35 million.

Just weeks before, the city pledged $25 million for the project, but only two school board members voted to accept the plan on Tuesday.

"Until we see some change in the economy, we need to stay the course with what we've got, and not borrow money, and not overspend what we don't have to spend," said board member Charlotte Meadows.

Plans for a school in the system's southern tier also came to a screeching halt--but not before the motion had a fighting chance.

"We have schools in the city proper. [The students down there] need a school," board member Mary Briers explained.

The support for the unfunded plans didn't sit so well with some members.

"We've got, you know, the [Montgomery] City Council saying, 'Here's $25 million,' but we're going to do a pipe dream on not even the County Commission offering us anything yet," remarked board member Melissa Snowden.

The frustration builds.  Some residents spoke publicly, voicing their distaste for the board. Superintendent Thompson says it's important to keep academic priorities in mind.

"Maybe we need to give people more information in terms of what's necessary, but I think that, obviously, we have a need," Barbara Thompson said.

The school debate isn't the only highlight from the meeting. The board voted to implement a system wide uniform policy for kids.

Board members also voted for more time to review personnel cuts and notices, along with plans for repairing Pintlala and Dozier Elementary schools.

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