Thursday, April 11, 2013

Perry Co. school board members deny allegations of misconduct

This from WYMT-TV News:
State education officials are accusing three members of the Perry County Board of Education of interfering with the state's education recovery plan.

Video:  Three Perry Co. school board members accused of misconduct
Board members James Ritchie and Charlene Miller and board chairman John Combs all received letters from Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who accuses them of hindering the state's turnaround plan for Perry Central High School.

All three are accused of pressuring officials at the high school to put breaks for students back in the school day.

Ritchie is accused of threatening PCC principal Neal Feltner.

Both Ritchie and Miller denied all of the allegations.

"The allegations against me are absolutely not true," Ritchie said. "And I intend to advise Commissioner Holliday that there is no truth to the allegations."

Miller said, "The allegations are completely false. There is no merit to those complaints whatsoever. I do not know who turned in those allegations."

Holliday released the following statement to WYMT:
"It is my responsibility as the Commissioner of Education to monitor turnaround efforts at Kentucky public schools. Based on the information I have received from KDE education recovery staff and others, I felt I needed to address the situation with school board members to ensure school turnaround efforts in Perry County continue and are successful. It is my hope board members will view the correspondence as an opportunity to review their actions. I will continue to monitor day-to-day activities in Perry County to ensure the success of the school turnaround efforts there."
We left a message for Combs but our call was not returned.

And this:
The three board members are all accused of ordering officials at Perry County Central High School to reinstitute breaks during the school day - a violation of the state's turnaround plan for the school.

Video:  Perry Co. school board members deny allegations of misconduct
"I am very upset over these charges," Miller said. "And I will be writing a letter to the commissioner. I want (the allegations) rescinded or I want to see the proof that they have."
Miller is also accused of violating the plan by asking the Educational Recovery staff to buy textbooks.

"I just feel like someone has a personal vendetta," she said. "And I don't know who it is. But I do know the allegations are completely false."

Another board member, James Ritchie, is accused of threatening Perry Central's principal, Neal Feltner.

Ritchie is also accused of threatening to dock the pay of one school district employee.
He denied all of the Holliday's accusations.

"The allegations against me are absolutely not true," Ritchie said. "And I intend to advise Commissioner Holliday that there is no truth to the allegations."

Board member Jerry Wayne Stacy said in a statement, "The things in these allegations are completely contrary to anything I have seen out of my fellow board members."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Darn it, this sort of thing is only suppose to happen in JCPS. Sounds like academic genocide is spreading!

Glad to know that our commissioner is keeping tabs on whether or not Perry County High School students are having a 15 minute break - sounds like real cutting edge turn around interventions happening there. Maybe he can start walking the halls too in order to make sure kids have their bathroom passes.

So an elected school board member wants the state to provide some funds for textbooks? Wow, now that sounds like a pretty outrageous request.

Threatened to dock the pay of the principal? It would be helpful to know the context of the concern. This plays like the board member is trying to intemidate the principal, but what if the administrator is coming in late to work or perhaps even failing to implement the turnaround plan. What is the context of the complaint.

Does KDE's imposed intervention on a school superseed elected school board member's ability to make decisions about the school? Do they forfeit their right to have say on how local tax funds are spent in their school?

Like JCPS, it will be interesting to see where we are in a few years after these imposed turnaround plans have been implemented and KDE folks have left town with their funds.

Same old top down, self righteous, antagonistic relationship as has always been.