School board holds special closed-door meeting

Dec. 16, 2013 @ 05:49 PM

The school board held a special closed-door meeting to consider confidential personnel matters and to consult with its board attorney to preserve the attorney-client privilege.
Board members, citing personnel privacy laws, declined to talk about what was discussed in the meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
When asked about the discussion behind closed-doors, board members referred questions to school board Chairwoman Heidi Carter who, after consulting with the board’s attorney, said the discussion involved a personnel matter that she could not discuss.
Superintendent Eric Becoats reportedly was not in the office Monday.
The board’s special meeting came a day before its scheduled meeting with county commissioners to discuss several items, including the school district’s unassigned fund balance, which has been the source of much contention since an annual audit discovered an extra $15 million in the “rainy day” account.
The discovery angered some board members who went to county commissioners to request extra money after being told the fund would be spent down to about $4 million, a dangerously level for a school district whose accountant recommends maintaining a fund balance of $16 million. 
Some board members, embarrassed by the discovery and worried about damaged relations with commissioners, have said Becoats is responsible for providing the board with an accurate accounting of the school district’s finances.