Union Co School Board rejects commissioners' $3 million offer - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union Co School Board rejects commissioners' $3 million offer

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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

The Union County Board of Education unanimously declined the Board of Commissioners' offer in the redistricting dispute Tuesday night. But that wasn't the vote wasn't the only thing bringing heat to the table.

The offer would have given Union County public schools $3 million to purchase 49 mobile classrooms, which commissioners said would prevent redistricting.

Officials said that Board of Education members were informed at Tuesday's meeting that accepting the commissioners' offer would decrease the trial verdict amount by $3 million.

The plan would affect about 6,000 students, sending them to different schools.

At Tuesday's meeting that unanimous decision to reject that money was just the beginning.

Members took to their individual soapboxes to spout off about the increasingly nightmarish task before them.

"We're a reactive board," said one member. "We have to react to what it is they do."

Another chimed in speaking for parents, and queried, "if you're not impacted, you're sitting there thinking, am I gonna be the next time?"

There were also moments of testy squabbles where board members talked over each other.

None of that, said Jill Carilli, a parent helps students caught in the middle.

"Here we go, it's the ping pong ball back and forth and this one says this and this one says this," she said, clearly frustrated.

There were encouraging signs: talk of grandfather-ing middle schoolers as well as high schoolers and ways to building additions on to current schools to by more time.

Despite that, Carilli remained unconvinced.

"They're too focused on being right instead of doing right by the kids," she pointed out. "That's the biggest problem we have."

Still, Kristy Maher another parent, liked what she heard this time around.

"I'm a little bit encouraged by what I'm hearing because I think it looks like the board of education is finally listening to the parents," she said.

Tuesday's meeting was just a work session. No decision was made. The board has until April to finalize a redistricting plan.

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