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Incumbent Oconee County Board of Education Post 4 Member Tim Burgess had some advice for the three other candidates seeking a spot on the Board at Thursday’s night’s virtual candidate forum.
The Board is a governing body, Burgess said, and it hires a superintendent to run the schools.
Most of the issues that come before the Board are operational issues, Burgess said, and the Board should not get involved in those issues until after school administrators have tried to resolve them.
Questions about the role of the Board permeated the dialog at the forum.
Burgess was responding to–but did not answer directly–a question from a citizen, who wanted to know why Board members had not responded to an email he said he sent to all of them in July asking questions about COVID-19.
Michael Ransom, seeking Post 5 on the Board of Education, also said he wanted parents to follow the “chain of command” when they have an issue with the schools, starting with teachers and school administrators.
Joan Parker, also seeking Post 5 on the Board, said Board members should respond to any questions “about how decisions are made and any policy issues. If it is an individual issue with a particular teacher, then I think it does need to go through the school,” she added.
Parker is the Democratic nominee for Post 5, and Ransom is the Republican nominee.
Laura Ormes, who is the Democratic nominee opposing Republican Tim Burgess for Post 4, missed the forum because of a death in the family.
The three remaining candidates responded to 15 questions ranging from the school system’s mask policy to its decision to charge the county for use of school sports facilities during the 90-minute long session.
For more on the story, with an annotated video of the virtual candidate forum, please go to Oconee County Observations.
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