I have yet to hear a logical reason why adding a seventh school board seat is necessary. The continued argument of needing an odd number of board members to avoid tie votes can be dismissed by the fact that out of over 700 votes only 9 were tied. It is my understanding that once this fact was pointed out to AdvanceED tie votes were dropped as a concern a couple of years ago. According to Dr. Swords recent statement, the problem of split votes of the six member board was not referenced in the AdvancED report. To reintroduce a problem that had already been addressed to the satisfaction of AdvanceED, unnecessarily adding another issue for the board to deal with, would not seem the best route to safeguarding the districts accreditation.
AdvancED renewed the School District of Pickens County accreditation last year. SDPC schools received high marks in the last AdvancED review, and our teachers do an excellent job as evidenced by SDPC’s statewide ranking of 10 to 15 out of 81 school districts according to SDPC Superintendent Danny Merck. Chairman Swords and the rest of the board members absolutely will not allow accreditation to be lost.
The current hysteria surrounding our school board is politically motivated. Ultimately the goal is to appoint a seventh board member that will vote for more borrowing/debt and more spending between now and 2018 when that board seat would be properly elected. The tactic of not letting a crisis (real or not) go to waste is being played out.