A large group of concerned citizens attended the Glynn County school board meeting Tuesday night.
Venus Holmes, president of the local NAACP chapter, was one of several to address the board during the meeting.
Holmes said the group in attendance at the meeting consisted of NAACP members, Delta Sigma Theta sorority members and other concerned citizens.
“Congratulations to our Brunswick High boys’ and girls’ basketball teams — we are so proud of you — but we are not happy with the board’s decision to remove your principal and others,” Holmes said. “We are here tonight to show our displeasure about what you have done.”
Holmes, along with others at the meeting, expressed concern that they believe the board intends to make administrative changes next year at Brunswick High School, although the school board has made no official statement regarding administrative changes at the school.
The administration is led by principal Toriano Gilbert. Leslie Scarboro, Slade Turner, Samuel Wilson and Penny Thompson-Russell serve as assistant principals.
In other news, the school board approved plans to replace the lights at the Glynn County stadium with new LED lighting.
“What we’d see here is a total replacement of the lights, not the poles, the lights the wiring and all the electrical redone for the stadium lights,” said Al Boudreau, executive director of operations.
The replacement will cost $257,720, which will be funded out of ESPLOST 2, as pay-as-you-go stadium renovation.
The board also approved the 2018 bus purchase request. The school system will purchase 15 buses, which will cost $1,761,425.
Assistant superintendent for finances Andrea Preston said that money will come out of the local capital projects fund, which is the money set aside for local projects that are not designated for ESPLOST funding.
Preston also gave a 2018 budget update at the meeting. Mandated changes to the 2018 budget include an increase in the Teacher Retirement System rate and an increase to the Health Insurance Classified Rate. Those equal to a total of $2,247,500.
Non-mandated changes to the budget include certified and non-certified salary step increases, a deduction of stipends given in January 2017 from the fund balance, an increase for the rollout of a Eureka Math curriculum for the second grade, a decrease in the renewal fees for Read 180, Math 180 and System 44 as well as the removal of the Coastal Education High School budget.
As of now, Preston said, the school system is at a budget deficit of $1.1 million for 2018.