Fayette school system posts milestone: ontime online agenda

And they said it couldn’t be done, but that was a year ago. Today — actually last Friday by 5 p.m. — the agenda and supporting documentation for the Feb. 15 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education was posted on the school system’s website, giving those interested far more time to view the information.

The change to having the agenda and other documentation online on Friday came with no fanfare and not even an announcement.

Coincidentally or not, the change in public access to the specifics to be addressed by the school board came within six weeks of the arrival of new Superintendent Jeff Bearden.

The Citizen was unable to confirm whether the Friday posting on the school system website was a one-time event or a change of practice that will apply to all board meetings.

Until now the school system posted the agenda and supporting documentation sometime during the day before, and sometimes the day of, the Tuesday night board meeting.

The request to provide agenda information in a more timely and accountable manner was made a year ago by some Fayette County School System employees and The Citizen.

And it was at the school board’s organizational meeting in January 2010 that then-Superintendent John DeCotis said he had received feedback from the public and some on the board that they would like to have more time to look over agenda items and the supporting documentation provided on the school system’s website.

The board at that meeting changed the meeting days from Mondays to Tuesdays, adding that agenda information would be placed online on Mondays so that citizens would have two full business days to review the information. But the information was often not available in the timeframe the board had indicated.

DeCotis after that meeting and in response to questions by The Citizen, said the school district in the past had tried for an earlier cutoff day for getting supporting documentation into central office. But the schools could not get all the information in on time for an earlier website posting, DeCotis said.

A year later, Jeff Bearden had his first day as superintendent on Jan. 4.

The Fayette County Board of Education at 20 mills charges the largest amount of property tax dollars of any tax levying entity in Fayette County. The school system’s 20 mills compares to 3.24 mills in Fayetteville, 6.384 mills in Peachtree City, 2.89 mills in Tyrone and .0789 mills in Brooks and 7.391 mills in unincorporated Fayette County, according to the Georgia Dept. of Revenue.

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