Fairfield School Board debates when to seat new members

The Fairfield County School Board
The Fairfield County School Board
Annie McDaniel
Annie McDaniel

By Tim Pulliam - email

WINNSBORO, SC (WIS) - There is more controversy for the once troubled Fairfield County School Board. Allegations of wasteful spending and losing accreditation plagued the district this year, and Tuesday night there were questions over when new leaders could actually take their seats.

Tuesday night's school board meeting was much calmer than some in the past year.  The board decided Tuesday night that new board members will official become members on Friday. 

Andrea Harrison, Bobby Cunningham, Ronald Smith and incumbent Henry Miller will return. The board chose Friday because it marks a full week after the election results were certified. State law and school board policy require the seven-day grace period. 

Concerns were brought up between new members and old members when another law on the books was used to challenge the previous rule. That law says the new members  would have to wait until after December first to be seated. The board decided against that guideline.

We asked new board member Ronald Smith how he felt about having to wait a few more days to be recognized, and how he feels about serving on the board filled with so much controversy last year. "We gotta work past that we gotta move forward as a school district and not with the bad publicity we have received," Smith responded.

Current school board chair Annie McDaniel shares the same feeling. "I'm confident that we will do things in decency and in order those board members will be seated and we will move about trying to improve education to our school district," she said.

That's a concern parents Ralph and Cathy cooper hope the new board take seriously. "I hope when they do get in there everything will move forward instead of backwards again," said Ralph Cooper.

New members will officially take their seats on November 23 at the board's next meeting.

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