State help for BOE continues

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 20, 2008


The technical help Selma City School administrators have received will continue, and the board may be getting assistance as well.

The Board of Education agreed Thursday the district could further benefit from technical assistance to its superintendent and with finances. Craig Pouncey, assistant state superintendent, met with the school board and its members last week.

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Pouncey said Friday he was glad the board opted for the help because the district may need it.

Eddie Hill, a consultant with the state department, has been assigned to Selma since October 2007 to work with Dr. Verdell Dawson who was hired on March 21, 2007, as interim superintendent.

Board member Debra Howard claimed Selma City officials did not approve the payment of about $4,000 for Hill&8217;s living expenses since he arrived. Other board members said the expense was approved.

The board voted 7-4 Thursday night to renew its request for help from the state during the transition and to pay for Hill&8217;s lodging to prevent him from traveling back and forth from his home in Enterprise.

Howard called paying for Hill&8217;s lodging &8220;an unlawful act,&8221; saying she planned to alert the Alabama Ethics Commission and the Attorney General&8217;s office.

Board member Dr. Kirit Chapatwala said he considered technical support for Dawson &8220;an insult,&8221; because it insinuates she could not do her job. Board member Barbara Hiouas differed saying she has seen improvements to the district&8217;s infrastructure since Hill arrived.

Howard, Chapatwala, the Rev. Coley Chestnut, and board chairman John Williams voted against continuing with state assistance. Williams said the board had an agreement to sort out the details with state officials.