Keep the students first

Published 8:10 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

Next week will be a telling one about the moxie of the Selma City School Board.

Austin Obasohan has announced his resignation as superintendent of the Selma City Schools System, effective June 30. Until then, he continues to lead the system.

The question now is do the five members of the school board have the fortitude and determination to make hard choices recommended by Obasohan to ease the system through the next year of nearly assured proration or if the school board will force Obasohan into a lame-duck position.

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So far, members of the school board have acted on most of Obasohan’s recommendations, moving toward construction of a new high school and acknowledging the superintendent’s ideas for some basic changes at some of system’s schools.

But harder choices are coming.

A town hall meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at School of Discovery will reveal two options to the public for dealing with the likely issue of proration and a declining student population.

School Board president Henry Hicks Sr. has asked the public not to make assumptions about what the elected body will do.

Hicks has already gone on record, saying if he has to vote to close down a brick building to keep teachers employed, then he’ll vote to close down the brick building.

The remainder of the school board should follow Hicks’ lead, work closely with Obasohan for the rest of his tenure and remember — remember, as Obasohan says, the children, the students come first.