Columbia County school board Chairman Wayne Bridges has called a public meeting July 14 to discuss the issue of having a county-wide elected school board chairman.
In a straw poll on the Aug. 20 Republican primary ballot, 85 percent of voters said they favored having an at-large elected school board chairman.
A 19-member task force was established six months later to study the issue. But when the task force recently delivered its findings, it rejected the idea of having a countywide elected chairman and instead recommended studying the feasibility of increasing the size of the board.
"We want to go ahead and answer some of the questions that are out there and some of the assertions the paper had in its editorial," said Bridges, referring to an editorial in the June 18 edition of The Columbia-News Times. "We want to make sure everybody understands where we are coming from and let people know we don't think they (the task force) sat around and talked."
In that editorial, state Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans) said, "I don't think they've studied everything. I think they just sat around and talked."
Only 17 of the state's 183 school system's have countywide elected chairmen. The task force's report concluded that having an at-large elected chairman would not improve the quality of education in the county.
The time and place for the meeting has not been established, Bridges said.
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