Morehead City, N.C.

June 28, 2019

TO THE EDITOR:

It was both deeply disturbing and disappointing to watch the County Board of Education meeting that resulted in the closure of MaST. It was disturbing to hear parents’ attempts at cannibalizing Bridges or Atlantic Elementary School to look at funding sources. Both of these institutions provide an invaluable benefit to the populations they serve.

Equally disturbing were Facebook comments from citizens Down East calling the parents of MaST names and intimating threats if they were east of Beaufort.

I understand both reactions, but they were grounded in emotions and cooler heads always prevail during emotional times. Now the school system faces a legal threat due to the fact that those who voted in the majority violated G.S. 115C-72 [link http://bit.ly/NCschool].

The result will likely be Board of Education members, school administrators and county commissioners and their communications being pulled into the lawsuit. This will likely subtract from any cost savings or attempts at fiscal conservatism as the risk and its associated costs that we as a county are exposed to is currently unknown. Furthermore, additional violations of G.S. 160A-83 and G.S. 115C-47(57) which are listed in the School Boards on Policy 2120 Code of ethics for school board members [http://bit.ly/CCPSEthics], specifically Sections A1, 2 and 5.

Further violations of this policy occurred under B2, but most importantly B3, when Chairman Day continued to allude that the county commissioners wanted them to do something specific with the funds. That specific instruction qualifies that those that voted in the affirmative neglected their duty to “refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups.”

Since the inception of the Board of Education and Board of Commissioners, there has always been a difference of opinion on how to allocate funding. If the goal is to abide by the county commissioners’ direction on funding, then why do we have a Board of Education? The argument that it’s the law isn’t valid, as indicated above, as there has already been a disregard for the rule of law.

The fact that the most recent Board of Education meeting lacked a rescission of the previous motion that violated the law, and another motion that reinstates the program with a two-week window to study the school closure, still puts them in violation of the law. Discussions around lack of funding only indicate that lack of awareness regarding the state funding as the N.C. House released their budget [http://bit.ly/NCbudget19] with Page 50 specifically allocating this funding. Additionally, the House chair of Education Appropriations, who is a Republican, indicated that the decision [http://bit.ly/NCEduHorn] was premature and questioned what leadership that they talked to at the N.C. House.

The fact that ample considerations wasn’t given to reduction in force, to those teachers with performance issues or poor performers, which leading education economist Eric Hanushek states could cost a student lifetime earning potential to “have a negative impact of $400,000” weren’t considered, is telling.

This was one of the primary reasons, I supported eliminating teacher tenure, during my time on the school board. Ask the teachers themselves, have you ever been up one grade level from an ineffective teacher? How hard did you have to work to gain growth score or establish proficiency for your student? Additionally, were the calculations done to establish eROI, specifically the educational return on investment of this program? This isn’t something that your finance team will provide?

This is something the Board of Education, as business leaders should have calculated and considered. Furthermore, the N.C. GOP 2019 Platform [http://bit.ly/2019NCGOP] Article VII indicates the support of “the expansion of vocational curricula and school choice in North Carolina.” The majority of the board’s decision in the affirmative, while complying with Policy 2120 Section B. 11 to not use their position for partisan gain, is in direct contradiction of the N.C. GOP Platform. Didn’t we support a partisan school board to advance these types of opportunities that align with the values and needs of our community?

Mrs. Wheatly, Mrs. Chadwick and Mr. Jenkins, you unilaterally backed Chairman Day in his bid for board chair while overlooking other more tenured and respected board members for leadership on the board. The leader you supported has put you and many others at risk of unnecessary litigation and is causing damage to the brand that is Carteret County Public Schools.

You are all business owners. If your business partner broke the law, implicated you by continually stating “we” and exposed you to litigation and unnecessary risk, would you still keep that partner in your business? Would that individual continue to have a leadership role in your business?

Management is doing things right and leadership is doing the right thing. Chairman Day mismanaged the situation when he read a pre-written motion to end the MaST program. It is up to your leadership to suspend the rules and declare the chair vacant (or similar parliamentary procedures) and elect a new chairman who does not have an agenda.

I understand our Down East schools are losing attendance, that ECHS is losing funding due to dwindling attendance. Expand the MaST program at ECHS and include dynamic programs that aren’t offered at the CCC campus to draw more students to ECHS.

I wish you nothing but success regardless of your decision and I absolutely understand the position you are in, but there are creative solutions to the problem. Republican parents of MaST and Republican supporters of public education, I urge you to attend the Carteret County Republican executive committee meeting July 9th at 6 p.m. to voice your displeasure with county leadership.

BLAKE BEADLE

Carteret County Public School Board of Education 2014-2018

Technology, policy, budget, Strategy Committee Member

(19) comments

Osprey

Mr Beadle, with this wealth of knowledge why didn't you enlighten The Board or Matt Bottoms prior to meeting and vote ? Your position of Asst. Superintendent isn't to be a Monday morning quarterback, it is to be proactive on educational issues of this magnitude. Doing your homework after the fact does not earn full credit. You are as responsible as all those you accuse due to your neglect of sharing your wealth of knowledge on the laws regarding the school closure.

asteedpittman

He isn’t the assistant superintendent to my knowledge?!?

Labmom2

I’m thinking he/she won’t be earning full credit on that one🤦🏻‍♀️

Labmom2

I guess you didn’t earn full credit then.

Sandra gillikin

It is about time someone stood up and spoke the truth, who really care about educational opportunities in our county. Thank You for educating people on the truth.

NC-Native-Son

It was very obvious to me that the decision to de-fund MaST was made by a bunch of folks who have a serious lack of smarts. Instead of providing an education that will challenge our children, they want to dumb down the system. You can give fools a diploma, but they are still fools.

DeadBolt

See you all in court, well, all you keyboard cowboys! ps. your lot has already ruined the University with false ideals, rendering them useless activist's schools of hate, so, adios. TRUMP FOR 10 MORE YEARS! MAGA! [wink]

Seagypzy

Obviously the Board did not do their homework on this issue. It is sad that students suffer without considering other avenues to keep this program open. In an area that is dependent on the Port, and propped up by Tourism and the proximity to a military base, we need more educational and job opportunities for our young people. People live here because of the family atmosphere and the beach, not because this is a prosperous area (unless you are one of the lucky few). Creating new opportunities for growth for our young people is of paramount importance.

beachmami13

[thumbup]

TravisDay

In response to allegations of "illegality"… Before our meeting & vote on 6/20, I spoke with our legal counsel and I also forwarded the exact wording of my intended motion to our BOE and superintendent. In addition, we always have legal counsel sitting with us in our board meetings to ensure our actions are legal, and I trust them to advise us when needed.

Labmom2

I lost that trust with his closing comment at the July 2 meeting. This school is not hurting East. I’m sorry they are losing funding from the loss of kids and families that moved after the hurricane. Maybe it’s time to revisit the redistricting issue. With I-42 on the way talks are the population in our county will double in ten years with the biggest growth on our West end and Newport. What are we doing to be proactive for that? Move the lines, give East kids and lighten the load for Croatan and West! Stop using MaST as a cop out.

TrueCarteretNative

Then why are you backing up and “redoing” the vote? Just to waste more taxpayer money?? If it was legal then why more steps? Seems you are lying to the people who elected you...

Carteretstrong

Are you working for the people or against the people? So you just admitted that before the meeting you already knew what you were going to do and it must have somehow felt wrong...somewhere...so you had to involve legal counsel? Next time make sure you put that out before the meeting, so we can bring legal counsel as well. No matter what the families had to say you obviously already had made your mind up. Interesting. So why waste our time to come to the meeting if we dont have a voice? We all know that you are backpaddling now to fix your illegal way of closing a school. Do you understand that we are educated people and not idiots? It is time for you and whoever is colluding there, to read up on integrity and duty. It is offensive to my eyes, reading the lies. After this stunt just know you won't be reelected or however you acquired this job. All of you against keeping mast open to give any child of our county, regardless of status or wealth, the opportunity to rise above won't have a job. We Will make sure carteret county children will have college graduates and I hope they remember and if they still feel the desire to even come back here...take your jobs.

Mocha1

Me. Day, if this were a true statement then how do you explain a BOE member stating the voting process was invalid and the board attorney stating the same, which is why all of you are having to perform your current process? I truly believe the former BOE member is knowledgeable to the statements produced to the editor and voters of Carteret County. And to let others know, the money allocated from State funding for MaST has to be used for MaST or it has to be returned. So, the argument of placing the money to other needed areas is not a valid reason.

CrystalcoastcultureNC

please respond. Trying to wrap my head around this. 1-Has the BOE acknowledged CCC has gone on record to support MaST financially..and support staff? Why doesnt this affect BOE decision. 2- can you please confirm.....I read that the funds from the state specifically Earmarked for early colleges cannot be used for any other purpose Correct? So those funds must be returned? 3- I Also heard MaST was to be self sufficient in 3 years time. How much money did the county spend getting the school going? 4- I hear if ECHS keeps loosing kids, high schools may redistribute kids to NEW schools. Will that affect any of the BOE children?

dc

Thought that was the case. Thanks for clarifying it for the doubters.

Dk02

I would seriously like the real reason why Mr. Day wants to close this school. Obviously funding isn't the real issue. These kids need this school!

(Edited by staff.)

asteedpittman

Honesty would be greatly appreciated!

28516Mom

Thanks for sharing Mr. Beadle. It is obvious that proper procedures weren't followed. The special meeting lead by Mr. Day to vote on the closure of MaST was a disaster from the start. The students had a chance to clearly see how a leader shouldn't act or conduct business. For those thinking that students can start college classes right away, they can't. The rising sophomores at MaST will be forced to delay continuing college courses until their junior year due to Career and College Promise. For your convenience, I'm including the website. https://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/sites/default/files/academic-programs/crpm/attachments/section14_18aug2017_operating_procedures_v3.pdf. MaST allows students to start college classes immediately, hence the completion of high school and associate degree. Furthermore, the reference of funding the 7 or 8 teachers, returning to the home high schools, isn't the only option for the students at MaST. MaST is a great opportunity to bring the students together from all districts instead of being tied to boundaries established by residence. The students at MaST had a successful school year, even after the hurricane, the students met and, in many cases, exceeded the expectations set before them and it is now going to be thrown away due to the agenda of one person. We're missing a great opportunity to help our students graduate prepared to be productive citizens as Carteret County's mission statements implies. The push to close MaST is counterproductive.

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