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Q&A of the candidate for the Board of Education | News, Sports, Jobs


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Although attendance was low this week at the informal question-and-answer session for those interested in running for the three open seats of the Marietta City Schools school board, the content of the questions spanned the gamut of what the president said. of Council Russ Garrison and Director Will Hampton hoped for a more enlightened interest in the role of Seating.

Question: Have things started to move buildings in the reorganization of building quality levels?

Answer: Yes.

“If you are walking in the halls right now, there are lines of boxes and the teachers have moved things, they have been doing it all week” Hampton said.

Garrison explained that the increments of internal moves between closed buildings and those moving to accommodate new classes began as soon as classes ended.

“And now we’re really trying to get into the habit of calling the old college the new Marietta Elementary School.” said Garrison.

Kindergarten to Grade 2 at Putnam and Harmar Elementary Schools is transitioning to Washington and Phillips Schools, while the previous four elementary buildings send merchandise for grade 3 to 5 teachers to the old college above Seventh Street.

Teachers who wanted to move their own rooms have been allowed and have free access to their buildings, but trucks and moving staff are also hired for those who need help.

“We even have some who want to paint their own rooms” Hampton said. “So we buy the paint… some of the colors are vibrant… make it yours. “

But part of the movement, Hampton explained, still includes some hustle and bustle for positions, as teachers vie for newly opened positions through unplanned retirements, new opportunities elsewhere, and those dropping out of education altogether.

Q: Is the district’s ability to rehire the 40 teachers originally slated to be phased out in January due to attrition?

A: No.

“We’re going to do this for another month so, and it’s interesting that all those awkward conversations in January where I didn’t have room for you in August, OK now, some things have changed since we got funding ( federal) additional to support recovery or lost learning ”, Hampton explained. “It’s true that it’s for two years, but while some are through attrition, others are through (federal) funding and filling positions for people who have left unexpectedly. to occupy other positions elsewhere. “

Q: When should the entire Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund be spent?

A: September 30, 2022.

“We have a little over two years to spend it”, Garrison remarked.

But when examining how 80 percent of the district’s operating budget is consumed by staff salaries / wages and benefits, this additional funding presents a unique cash flow balance, Hampton explained.

“When you know that in two years this money is gone, how do you spend so much money on salaries and benefits? “ he posed. “I don’t want to just hire people, just hire people. So we are looking for other creative ways to use the funds to offset other expenses.

Q: Can ESSER funds be set aside for a rainy day or kept in surplus?

A: No.

“But if you can divert some of the things that might be spent in your general fund to additional funds, then you can stretch the money out of your general fund a bit more,” said Garrison.

Q: How long is the term of a member of the board of directors?

A: Four years.

Four years of $ 125 per formal meeting, plus additional commitments for those on different committees, the couple explained.

“It comes down to about $ 2,000 a year”, Garrison explained. “Basically we are decision makers and a supervisor or direction for the district. It is not for us as a board to execute, although the president and vice president work quite closely in conversations with the superintendent and treasurer.

He guided the care the board should take not to violate open meeting laws by staying informed of district activities, but not “In the round” discussion outside of formal public meetings.

“And then, from time to time, we will have to convene special meetings” Garrison added. “You just have to be careful not to create a session where all the board members understand all of the proceedings (virtually) where you’ve created the deliberation aspect of open meetings without an open meeting. We have watched this carefully, especially on the emails.

The couple noted that the deadline for filing completed applications for non-partisan seats is August 4 at the Washington County Electoral Board office.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at [email protected]

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