Beaufort County NC School Board Budget Discussions – Off the Rails…Again!
April 20, 2023
The Beaufort County NC School Board and staff met April 20, 2023 to review the local contribution from the county to fund operations of the BC school system for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. This meeting was to prepare for a joint meeting with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners to be held April 25, 2023. The school board and staff will present their list of increases they desire to be included in the counties allocation of local funds. Local funds are to be utilized to pay operating and maintenance expenses and capital expenditures. There were no discussions of state and federal funding during this meeting. It was noted that the Covid Relief and other funding related to operating the schools under the Covid protocols have been discontinued. The Chairman, TW Allen, reported the board has plans to expend the remaining relief funds to avoid having to return any of the allocations.
The meeting was ostensibly scheduled to prepare the budget presentation. The April 2023 Board calendar referenced this as a ‘Special Called Board Meeting – Budget Session”. However, there was a development earlier in the week that prompted the inclusion of an additional agenda item. Typically Special Called meeting are for one expressed purpose, however no one in attendance objected to the addition.
The opening item on the agenda was a discussion of House Bill 464, a Local Bill in the NC legislature altering the manner in which appointments are made to the Washington-Warren airport authority. This Bill was amended earlier in the week by Representative Keith Kidwell, representing the 79th District in North Carolina. The amendment reads as follows:
Section 2. The local board of education of Beaufort County Schools is authorized to use the Hillsdale College K-12 Curriculum in lieu of the requirements of Part 1 of Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes.
As reported by Chairman TW Allen, this set off a firestorm of phone calls from a number of legislative offices, radio stations, newspaper outlets, and television stations inquiring as to the motives of adding this amendment to a non-controversial Local Bill? Chairman Allen conferred with Representative Kidwell, with Representative Kidwell responding that the school board had requested this local bill amendment. Chairman Allen told Rep. Kidwell that no such request came from the school board and had never been discussed during any board meetings. Board Chairman Allen relayed this to all those entities making inquiries.
In a previous meeting at which the selection of a social studies curriculum was discussed, board member Gary Carlton had questioned why Hillsdale College curriculum had not been considered. Board member Carlton apprised the board of his two grandchildren attending the Atlanta Classical Academy in Georgia, a Hillsdale school. Superintendent Dr. Matthew Cheeseman responded by saying Hillsdale was not on the approved list from the NC Department of Public Instruction. This discussion was deemed to be closed with this pronouncement.
The Citizens for Better Government of Beaufort County and the Education Committee of the Conservative Club researched a means to have the Hillsdale curriculum added to the approved list at DPI or other means to allow the school board to consider Hillsdale. The discussion evolved to the idea of a Local Bill to bypass the DPI selection process. Representative Kidwell reported the deadline had passed for submitting a stand-alone local bill but there was an opportunity to amend another Local Bill. Local Bills are routinely passed at the request of the sponsor, only affect one county or municipality in the sponsoring representative’s district, and do not require the Governor’s signature.
Also, according to NCGS 115C, 98 (b2)
(b2) Local boards of education may:
(1) Select, procure, and use textbooks that have not been adopted by the State Board of Education for use throughout the local school administrative unit for selected grade levels and courses; and
(2) Approve school improvement plans developed under G.S. 115C-105.27 that include provisions for using textbooks that have not been adopted by the State Board of Education for selected grade levels and courses.
All textbook contracts made under this subsection shall include a clause granting to the local board of education the license to produce braille, large print, and audiocassette tape copies of the textbooks for use in the local school administrative unit.
Chairman Allen and other board members apparently assumed one or more of the newly elected board members had gone “rogue” and had misrepresented the board without authorization to speak on behalf of the board. Not true!
It must be noted the amendment to HB 464 did not require or mandate the Beaufort County School Board adopt the Hillsdale College K-12 curriculum. It only authorized its inclusion in the selection process.
Another significant fact related to the Hillsdale curriculum is that it is FREE of Charge and lesson plans are included for each grade level and course of study. There is no local, state, or federal funding supporting Hillsdale College or the offerings provided by Hillsdale, nor will they accept any.
The Section 2 amendment above was added to HB 464 to give the Beaufort County school board another option to save our schools.
This agenda item was not about an amended House Bill, but rather someone other than elected bureaucrats intruding into a local school’s sandbox and pulling a lever of power they chose to ignore. Meanwhile, the young citizens and non-citizens they are charged with the responsibility to educate continue to suffer with demoralizing grades and the uncertainty if they will have a place in society as they attain adulthood.
Changing the method of computing the progress and proficiency scores may change the public’s perception of public education but none of this fluff will teach a student to read and perform basic math skills at grade level or qualify for a position at the high tech industries that Beaufort County is working to attract to eastern North Carolina.
Conservative Voter said:
( April 28th, 2023 @ 10:15 pm )
Big Government Bob once again displays either his ignorence or his shooting from the hip without knowing what he is talking about. Hillsdale College was founded by abolitionists and has admitted black students since it was founded in 1844. That was a time that many northern states had "Black Codes" that were far more draconian in stripping black people of their rights than the later Jim Crow laws. In spite of those Black Codes, Hillsdale took a stand and admitted black students. "KKK" "white supremacy" Nonsense! You are an uninformed blowhard, Big Government Bob.
( April 28th, 2023 @ 8:56 pm )
I think George Orwell may have been thinking about people like Bob when he wrote: "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." - George Orwell
( April 28th, 2023 @ 4:03 pm )
Said the smartest man in the room. Bahahahahaha
Hood Richardson said:
( April 28th, 2023 @ 7:02 am )
There is no question, that Rader summed it up perfectly. Big Bob and his cohorts are still trying to divide us.
To Big Bob, you do a good job of trying to make us believe you are a thoughtful educated person. At times like this your true values come out. You have destroyed yourself again.
If i were as uninformed as you, I would hide behind a moniker too.
( April 26th, 2023 @ 10:03 pm )
All you have to offer, Bob is the ideological rhetoric of the political left, and that is certainly NOT "truth". For example two of the "woke" distortions of history that are often put forward by the left, CRT (Critical Race Theory) and the 1619 Project both grossly distort facts to try to advance political points. The inventor of the 1619 Project has even admitted it is not history.
Critical Race Theory is part of Critical Theory, which was developed by Herbert Marcuse, a university professor who had been chief ideologue of the German Communist Party during the Weimar Republic. Marcuse's goal was to find other ways to create divisions in society since Marx's economic divide had failed to work for the German Communists. Critical Race Theory was developed a bit later by a group of Marxist law professors as a specific part of Marcuse's Critical Theory. All of Critical Theory is designed to do one thing, and that is divid society so that the far left can politically exploit those divisions.
Why is this all so dangerous? I will give you another quote from George Orwell: "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth." I think Orwell hit the nail on the head as to your version of "truth" and why you on the far left constantly push the distortion of history.
( April 26th, 2023 @ 6:19 pm )
By woke crap, you mean the truth. Apparently the snowflakes can't handle the truth.
( April 26th, 2023 @ 2:39 pm )
Hillsdale's course is tradional history, not the woke crap that is being taught in so many public schools. It is used across the country and is a respected program. The racist program is CRT or its clones DEI or ESG, which are distorted history. As George Orwell wrote, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." That is what the far left is now trying to do to our history.
( April 26th, 2023 @ 1:01 pm )
Hillsdale curriculum is white nationalist propaganda. Might as well invite the KKK to speak on MLK day. Seriously, more people better show up to these meetings.
John Steed said:
( April 25th, 2023 @ 4:52 pm )
The problem seems to be that we have a number of shallow whiny school board members who are complete rubber stamps for a superintendant who is in thick with the education establishment and are taking orders from him, instead of representing the parents, citiens, and taxpayers who elected them. If they don't get their focus back on the public instead of brown nosing the supreintendant, they will have a big comeupance in the next elections.
Buzz Cayton said:
( April 24th, 2023 @ 2:19 pm )
To Concerned Taxpayer:
You are right! The Hillsdale curriculum is filled with fact and patriotism and not woke and liberal agendas. We see our Country falling apart because of this infectious disease. Why would we want this to be perpetrated in our local school system? As we have seen in other school boards, they do not have to roll over and whimper at every whim of the BOE, BOI and the Teachers Union. But the old six members are not fighting for our best interest. Instead of straining over not adopting a sound traditional program that will prepare our students for the real world, why are they not meeting on why 8 of our 13 schools now have failing grades and 35% of our students in Beaufort County are at grade level for reading and math. It all reverts to leadership and management.
Hood Richardson said:
( April 24th, 2023 @ 6:26 am )
The education committee, keeping an eye on the school board, is beginning to pay off.
However, there are many more cow piles to be turned over.
More volunteers and more information, fed to the right places will be helpful.
Concerned Taxpayer said:
( April 23rd, 2023 @ 10:05 pm )
This smells an awful lot like we have some woke school board members who are determined to adopt a woke curriculum, or they are just rubber stamps for our liberal superintendant.
The educrats in Raleigh are woke and anything they put their stamp of approval on will be woke. This is NOT what parents want in our schools.
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