JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education made clear its discontent with the federal government’s looming sequestration in a unanimous vote Monday.
Board member Charlton Bivins read the board’s resolution objecting to “across-the-board budget cuts” that could adversely affect public education.
The district “urges Congress and the administration to amend both the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.”
Bivins pointed to potential adverse effects of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on programs that serve disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, early childhood education and career technical education.
Public schools nationwide could lose an estimated $2 billion in grants to serve more than 30 million of those students, he said. Schools that have already experienced drastic cuts at the state and local levels would suffer more breaks in funding.
Board member Alieka Anderson said $855,000 in annual cuts over 10 years through sequestration amount to about $8.55 million for the district.
Bivins and Anderson parted ways on a split vote in which the board approved “continuing” an existing legal services contract with Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers LLC.
Five members approved the measure while four others abstained. Abstentions came from Mark Christmas, Michael King, Jessie Goree and Bivins.
School board chairwoman Pam Adamson said the measure conforms to what amounts to a legal name change and will enable to board to continue its dealings with the firm.
The name change came after Glenn Brock left the firm formerly known as Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers LLC. The firm’s contract expires Dec. 31.
Board member Judy Johnson voted to continue with the firm.
“We have pending legal actions going on with this firm,” said Johnson. “I think it would be detrimental right now to switch firms.”
Bivins and Goree protested Monday’s action noting the original contract had not been rescinded and that the continuation lacked proper review of the firm and its new flagship partners.
“We’re not being fiscally responsible in approving this firm,” said Goree. “We need to be fair and have transparency.”
The board took no action on its sick leave and other personnel policies. School officials said they are continuing to make revisions to the proposed amendments.