CAT Tracks for May 18, 2017

The Cairo Board of Education held its Regular Meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at 6 p.m.

The agenda is immediately below, followed by some brief comments/minutes.

And in conclusion, there will be a rant and rave that will not match the anger that seized me during the meeting...


All members were present except Arnold Burris.

CJSHS Principal Lisa Thomas had the turn at "Examples of Excellence".

Prior to the approval of the "Consent Agenda", it was noted that there were some minor mistakes on April 20th minutes. So, it was noted that the approval of said minutes would be "as corrected".

Next up was "Informational"...

...with June 19th and June 26th (both at 5:30 p.m.) being the dates selected for the 2016/2017 Superintendent Evaluation (with extra dates to be determined if necessary.)

Superintendent Andrea Evers then brought the BOE up to date on what had been transpiring with respect to the public housing situation, stating that it was hoped that at least 50 families would be able to remain in Cairo by using existing housing within the city limits.

Superintendent Evers then turned to the possibility of renovating the old Bennett Elementary and Cairo Junior High building into apartments, an idea that she had raised at April's BOE meeting. A company that has done that very thing elsewhere is suppose to be in Cairo next month to assess the situation and offer plans.

Somewhere along the line, the disposition of the buildings was raised. Well, before anyone could say anything, one member of the BOE said in a voice loud and forceful enough that even this deaf old CAT could hear: "Well I want you to know that I am not in favor of donating the buildings."

And, THAT, is when I got totally pissed and showed my disgust, uttering a few profanities that were likely overheard. Well too damn bad, it's called righteous indignation.

In fact, further discussion ended and the BOE voted to enter closed session at 6:40 p.m. (although I didn't hear the vote since I had already stalked out of the room to take my seat in the hallway.)

The BOE voted to exit closed session at 9:18.

Items (1) through (7) under "Requiring Action/Decisions By Board of Education" were approved. Nothing was mentioned/done about Items (8) through (10).

Since Item (6) needs to be on display for 30 days before it can be approved, the June BOE meeting it being moved back a week to June 22nd.

The BOE voted to adjourn at 9:27 p.m.

CAT Tracks Editor's Rant and Rave:

Before I get started... ire was raised by one BOE member. At least two members have voiced their disagreement.

So, the following is not a condemnation of the Cairo Board of Education...

...unless, of course, it come to pass, namely that the BOE attempts to sell the abandoned/deteriorating buildings to whatever entity would be inclined to renovate them for public housing.

I mean...'ve got politicians, Democratic and Republican, trying to find a way to save Cairo, to save Cairo School District Number One...

...and at least one Cairo BOE member wants to take advantage of the crisis and make a buck!?


If I were these people, my response would be an incredulous: "You want us to pay you to save you?!"...

...followed by big FU.

Then, the buildings in question can continue to deteriorate and join the ranks of all the other abandoned properties in Cairo... be taken over by vegetation and fall down.

And, without the assistance of these outside entities, the school district will lose the advertised half of its student population...

...and the accompanying general state aid.

It won't take long then to use up their $4 million surplus (as evidenced by the Treasurer's report below.)

And, you know what, it would serve them right!

But, again, bears repeating... sell rather than donate the buildings was the opinion of one BOE member. Hopefully, his viewpoint will not carry the day.

To contemplate seeking a profit from the plight of the residents of Cairo public housing who have suffered untold indignities at the hands of local, state, and federal officials is, well, abhorrent.

Cairo School District Number One needs to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

To read the unofficial minutes of the April 20th Special BOE Meeting... here.

To read the unofficial minutes of the April 20th Regular BOE Meeting... here.