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County board discusses coaching contracts

The  Dallas County School Board pushed for 12 month contracts for football coaches at their meeting on Tuesday, June 12.
Board member Leroy Miles brought up the subject during personnel discussions saying that the need to develop athletes during the summer would help them be ready for fall sports.
Miles added that after looking over financial reports it would cost $31,000 to make this happen.
“That is an investment to our kids,” he said. “Basketball and football coaches need to be running summer programs and be at the school working with their kids. I think it is time to start heading in a different direction with athletics and starting holding coaches accountable to develop kids.”
Dallas County School System Superintendent Hattie Shelton said she was not ready to make that recommendation to the board until after Sept. 30.

“We are hindered by lack of funding,” said Mark Story the school board president. “We have real immediate needs, and that is one of them, but we have other things going on as well.”

“I understand where you all are,” said Shelton to the board. “I need you to understand where I am. There are some academic things I have to put in place that are going to cost you. While I am writing grants so I don’t have to delve into our finances just to get what we need academically, I think it is unfair for you to say that I don’t want this for the athletics.”

Miles said he was for academics as well, but said that if athletics were taken out of the schools, students would transfer out of the system.

“It is not about winning,” said Miles. “I do care about these kids being developed as a person.”

Miles added there was a lot of preparation that needed to be done to be ready for the season.

“To me it is like running a household,” said Shelton. “If I am trying to save money on one hand, but spend the money on this hand then I really didn’t save anything. Now is just not the time. I have primaries and secondary, and primary to me is academic.”

Story said that money given to Selma School System was also an issue.

He said to date, that $590,000 has been given to Selma School System.

“We worked with the county commission to get a tax increase, and we did get it,” said Story. “It was not properly done the way the law wanted it to be done. So now we give over $70,000 a month to Selma City School systems. That money would more than take care of this and other issues.”

Miles added that the board did not need to wait until September to vote on this.

Board member William Minor said he agreed that more money needed to be found to offer not only the coaches a pay raise, but all employees. He also stated how he had this conversation before with Shelton.

Following the meeting, Shelton said that she was focused on maintaining the one-month reserve for the school system

After entering into executive session, and returning to vote on personnel, all were approved except the renewal of Harry Crum’s coaching spot at Keith High School. This agenda item was pulled from the rest of the personnel items, and voted on separately.  Shelton said his position as a teacher at the school would remain the same.

Story and Roy Edwards voted no with Carolyn Bates voting yes and William Minor and Miles abstaining the vote.