Board of Education

Power shift: Smith, Smola vote in new chair, appointee Presberg

Fayette County Board of Education members (L-R) Janet Smola and Terri Smith in file photos from 2011.

Get appointed to your first public office in November and take charge of the school board two months later.

That’s the accelerated career path of Leonard Presberg, newly minted chairman of the Fayette County Board of Education.

The first meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education in 2012 held Jan. 9 included several housekeeping duties that led to a vote for appointee Leonard Presberg to serve as board chairman, Terri Smith as vice-chair and maintained the Monday meeting schedule.
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NAACP wins lawsuit in settlement: BoE goes 3-2 for district voting

The “ayes” have it: Raising their hands in favor of a district voting settlement are Janet Smola (far left), Leonard Presberg (next to Smola), and Terri Smith (on the right). Bob Todd and Marion Key (center, L-R) voted against the district voting settlement. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Decision puts 4 posts up for grabs this year, but each will be decided only by voters living within those district boundaries; board to pay NAACP $5,000

A seismic shift in Fayette County Board of Education politics occurred Jan. 9 when the school board voted 3-2 to accept a proposal to move to district voting. Board member Leonard Presberg, appointed just two months ago, provided the swing vote that carried the motion, calling it “the right thing to do.” Read More»

NAACP wins settlement: District voting for education comes to Fayette

Fayette County is about to get district voting after all, at least when it comes to the Fayette County Board of Education.

A resolution to the portion of the redistricting lawsuit filed by the Fayette County Branch of the NAACP that pertains to the Fayette County Board of Education has been settled. The Dec. 15 Consent Decree awaits formal approval from the school board tonight (Jan. 9). Preliminary indications are that the vote may not be unanimous.

Both parties in the case agreed to avoid further litigation and settle out of court. Read More»

NAACP prevails in Fayette school board district lawsuit

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2011 3:48 p.m. — The Fayette County Board of Education has thrown in the towel and agreed to settle a federal voting rights lawsuit filed by the Fayette Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) by instituting district voting for each of the board's five posts.

That means that only voters within one of the five districts may vote on the candidates who live within that district.

Still unresolved is the same lawsuit against the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.

The school board meets tonight to ratify the settlement. Read More»

Fayette assistant principals’ salaries range from high of $96K to low of $62K

For the past two years, The Citizen has looked at the various expenses in the Fayette County School System. The reviews originated when it became apparent that expenditures outstripping revenues would lead to the need for several millions of dollars in cuts that now face the Fayette County Board of Education.

The review this time focuses on the number of assistant principals in the school system, the number paid by state funding and those paid by local property owners. Read More»

School enrollment down 719 students

Student numbers are on a downhill slide at all of the county’s high schools and most of its elementary schools, according to figures from the Fayette County School System. Fewer students mean fewer state dollars coming to an already cash-strapped system. There was a hope that the years-long trend of falling enrollment numbers in Fayette County public schools might begin to see Read More»

No answers in voting rights lawsuit

Fayette Commission, School Board mum on NAACP vote challenge; funding may drive settlement

Will 10 elected officials surrender or will they litigate?

And will money — or the lack of it — become the deciding factor in the biggest voting rights case ever to hit Fayette County? Read More»

Fayette ESPLOST collections now down by nearly 17%

Another school system woe: Actual money collected from the education sales tax now is expected to fall nearly 17 percent short of original expectations, or $19.3 million less than projected.

The Fayette County School System’s penny sales tax for education (ESPLOST) is a little more than half way through the collection period that spans five years. The maximum collection ceiling was established at $115 million though the current projection puts potential collections at $95.7 million. Read More»

Fayette BoE is millions short of balancing its budget

Despite savings from fewer people being hired, the Fayette County School System still is several million dollars short of a balanced budget for the school year that begins in July. The projected fund balance for June 30 is now anticipated to be $13 million, but even that figure will not forestall the need to cut millions in expenditures prior to Read More»

A look at ‘central office’ staff pay in Fayette School System

Over a period of nearly two years The Citizen has looked at a number of expenditure categories related to the operation of the Fayette County School System. That look continues with a review of the job positions of those employees that are not housed in the system’s schools.

Accounting for revenue-neutral positions, there are 140 non-school-based positions earning an average salary of $50,129 in the school system that employs more than 3,000 staff members. Read More»

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