BCPSS to create community advisory task force - FOX10 News | WALA

BCPSS to create community advisory task force

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DAPHNE, AL (WALA) -

It's been nearly three months since Baldwin County voters shot down a proposed property tax increase that would have benefited schools.

Unfortunately, the growth problem hasn't gone away and the board is establishing a community advisory task force to help chart a path forward.

“That's part of what the board wants input on is what do people want to pay for education,” Beth Dotson, chair of the Baldwin County Education Coalition (BCEC), said.

BCEC is helping to coordinate the formation of the committee, which will have the priorities of funding, facilities, curriculum, leadership and communications on its plate.

The committee will consist of members who are nominated by the mayors of the various municipalities. Required qualifications include:

· Understands the importance of education to creating quality of life

· Are active and respected in the community

· Have a broad range of backgrounds and experiences

· Have good judgment and integrity

· Can leave personal agenda's behind

· Are not afraid to speak up and present new thoughts & perspectives

· Have strong communication skills

· Knowledge and/or expertise in one of the five priority areas

Dotson said the goal is to have an open connection between the public and the school board.

“The committee hearing what the board, the way their thoughts are and then us getting input from the community to present back to the board of education,” Dotson said.

Some people in the community who voted against the tax referendum in March are concerned with the way this task force is coming together, citing the fact that a number of the mayors came out publicly in support of the referendum passing.

“We're afraid that there will be people appointed to these committees who are actually in favor of the taxes and not giving a voice to the public,” Cody Phillips, president of the Daphne/Fairhope chapter of the Common Sense Tea Party, said.

Phillips said he hopes whoever is nominated will evenly represent all of Baldwin County and will be transparent with the public on their findings.

“They need to establish with the public an openness with the public on what's going on with the school system within Baldwin County,” Phillips said.

The school board will review the mayors' nominations at Thursday night's board meeting.

The task force will consist of at least 20 members, none of which are allowed to be elected officials. All task force meetings will be open to the public and will be held bi-weekly or more at Robertsdale High School at 5:30 p.m.

They will give their final report to the school board at its September board meeting.

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