It’s good to see the Beaufort County Board of Education addressing its collective lack of knowledge about parliamentary procedure.
A new ad-hoc committee, comprised of five school board members, has begun meeting. Their goal: to clarify when votes are needed, how board members are to interact with one another during meetings and to tackle other procedural issues that are currently confusing some board members.
The right board member is running the show. Recently-elected member David Striebinger is serving as chairman of the committee.
As Striebinger correctly points out, the public is wary of the board because of its recent lackluster response to the controversial hiring of the superintendent’s wife to a top district job.
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As a first baby step to restoring confidence, school board members need to understand the rules of how a school board operates. And it needs to follow them.
“The public can certainly disagree with the board, but at least if you look like you’re organized and you’re handling it in a professional fashion, they recognize it’s just a disagreement and not that the whole thing is a disaster,” Striebinger recently said.
We wish the committee well in bringing order to board meetings.
But we also realize that no amount of new rules and adherence to procedure will guarantee that the board makes good decisions that take into account what citizens want. The proof: the board’s recent passage of a nepotism policy that allows the superintendent’s family members to be hired.
That sea change will require new school board members who make listening to citizens a priority.
And it will be up to voters in November to make that happen.