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Obasohan assessment postponed

The 90-day evaluation period Austin Obasohan initially set for his performance as superintendent will be put on hold.

He announced during a Thursday board meeting for Selma City Schools that an audit by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts has put those plans on hold.

“I don’t think you can have an evaluation complete when you don’t have the access of that report. No evaluation is complete without that,” Obasohan said after the meeting.

The school board initiated the audit several months before the superintendent’s arrival in early September.

Barbara Stapp-Hiouas, school board president, said the board members supported the superintendent’s decision to delay his evaluation. The audit goes back to 2004.

“We’re all anticipating it. We all want to know what it is that we will have to do to improve our system,” Stapp-Hiouas said.

The board announced during the meeting Obasohan’s primary goals are developing a strategic plan for the system and raising the graduation rate. That figure was at 80 percent for the 2007-08 school year, 10 percent less than the Alabama State Department of Education’s minimum.

The board also approved to pay its system-wide staff of about 490 employees early in November and December to help them financially during the holiday season.

Board member Sylvia Smith asked if the payroll department had been checked to make sure there were no processing problems.

Obasohan assured her that was not an issue.