School board to adopt electoral districts policy revisions

The Carteret County Board of Education is expected to adopt policy revisions that reflect changes in electoral district lines during its meeting that will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the school system’s central office in Beaufort.  (Cheryl Burke photo)

BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Board of Education is expected to adopt policy revisions that reflect General Assembly action taken in June to line up electoral districts for school board and county commission.

Board members heard the first reading of the updated policy Oct. 6. The board can approve the policy at second reading, which will take place during its meeting Wednesday, set to begin at 6 p.m. in the school system’s central office on Safrit Drive.

While the school board normally meets the first Tuesday of each month, the November meeting was moved until Wednesday because the school system’s central office was used as a polling place Tuesday.

During its meeting, the board will present Recognition of Service awards to two of its own who will be exiting the board after the November meeting.

Officials will present awards to District 3 representative Melissa Ehlers of Morehead City, who opted to not run for re-election after her first four-year term, and District 2 representative Jake Godwin of Newport, who lost his bid for a second term to Democratic challenger Jennifer Johnson during the primary election.

As for the policy regarding electoral districts, the General Assembly ratified Senate Bill 796, which adjusted the district lines, in June.

The BOE petitioned the N.C. General Assembly in January to adopt a bill clarifying electoral districts for school board and county commission after concerns were raised over differences between the two. Board members voted in December 2019 to align the districts, but wanted the General Assembly to back their efforts.

The confusion over district lines was creating complications with respect to filing for school board seats. According to school board attorney Neil Whitford, the lines had been changed due to different language in local bills adopted over time by the General Assembly, dating back to at least 1993.

In other action Wednesday, the board will:

·     Hear a presentation on the school system’s 2019-20 audit report.

·     Recognize the school system’s finance department for winning two awards for financial reporting for 2019. The department earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Report Award from the Association of School Business Officials.

·     Consider adopting a $10.5 million budget revision. The revision includes the appropriation of $10.16 million in Hurricane Florence funds received from the state, Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance, $60,000 in federal homeless grant funds and $319,346 in state funds.

·     Receive an update on the state of arts education in the school system during the coronavirus pandemic.

·     Receive an update on the Carteret County Public School Foundation.

·     Meet in closed session for confidential attorney-client communications.

Under the consent agenda, the board will:

·     Consider school advisory board recommendations.

·     Consider a Battle of the Books supplement.

·     Consider re-appointment of three members for three-year terms to the foundation board. The members are April Lilley, Tom Kies and Neil Whitford.

·     Consider second reading of revisions to its employee leave policy.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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