City School Board: Cox eyes GED program changes

Published 10:48am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

At Tuesday night’s city school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Ben Cox discussed moving the Brookhaven School District’s GED program in-house.

“The GED program will not undergo a drastic change,” Cox said. Copiah-Lincoln Community College currently directs and staffs the district’s GED program. Cox said he wanted to have a little more control over the program’s policies, procedures and staff.

“We’ve had a wonderful relationship with Co-Lin with our vocational program but we wanted to have a little more control over the GED program,” Cox said. “And, there is the future possibility that we could start an adult GED program and help some of the people in our community, too.”

Board member James Tillman asked Cox what the advantage of moving this program in-house was and expressed the concern that he did not want to see students encouraged to enter into the GED program instead of graduating and getting their diploma.

“Students must test into the program,” Cox said. “Students who are at risk of dropping out will be counseled on getting back on track for their diploma, but there are some students who may need to get their GED.” He explained that his experience with this type of program was it brought a decrease in the dropout rate.

The board also spent time going over Urban Foundation Grant applications and chose 11 teachers for the annual scholarships. Each teacher receives $1,200 from the Urban Foundation, which was established to give teachers who wish to further their education or gain new certification an opportunity to do so. Cox said those teachers receiving the scholarships will be announced this week.

In other business, the school board:

• Approved the Brookhaven High School trip to Puerto Rico in March 2015 for an educational tour.

• Received the lowest bids for herbicide for kudzu control and rocks to build low-water crossings from the land managers for the district, Versie Rushing and Howard Stogner. The board gave the herbicide bid to Red River Specialties in the amount of $2,500 or less, and Tim Laird for the rocks at $4,360.

• Agreed to advertise for bids for the district’s bank depository, a new scoreboard and renovations to Brookhaven High School gym, including locker rooms, concession stand and air-conditioning of the gym. Opening will be at 2 p.m. on May 22 at the central office at 326 E. Court St.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 27 in the board room of the district office.