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Local school boards to meet

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Two local school board were slated to hold called meetings this week, Yantis later this afternoon and Sulphur Springs on Wednesday.

Yantis’s board was slated to meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the school conference room. After establishing a quorum is present, trustees are slated to go into an executive session to consult with attorneys about and deliberate regarding Superintendent Michael Barnett, who at the regular May trustees meeting was placed “on administrative leave with pay pending further notice for the good of the school.”

No details regarding why Barnett was put on leave were being released by school board members or administrators, who said based on the nature of the matter and ongoing process, their attorneys advised them not to discuss the matter publicly. However, prior agendas and board notes posted on the school website did show that a teacher/coach and principal had filed grievances against Barnett prior to his suspension.

Retired Superintendent Harold Cowley was contacted following a May 15 meeting to return as acting superintendent until the issue with Barnett is resolved. Cowley said he’d agreed to stay on in the post until then. Cowley first was employed with the district in 2005 as an interim superintendent, then was hired for the post. He handed in his resignation and returned to retirement at the end of the last school year.

The second district to call a special school trustees meeting this week is Sulphur Springs. They will meet at noon Wednesday in the board room of the Administration Building, 631 Connally St., to “discuss plans of financing” with Dan Almon of Southwest Securities. This will involve financing of the school bond project which was approved by voters May 9 on a 1,513 to 1,250 vote.

The board then has the option of going into executive session to discuss any sensitive personnel or real property issues presented for their attention since the last board meeting. They will then reconvene in open session to take action on any decision from the closed discussions.




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