The city council will send the school trustees a letter, requesting that they resign from their positions.
The letter was approved with no opposition during Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen open meeting.
“At some juncture, we need to at least make an effort to help our school district,” said Alderman Aubry Brent Jr., who vowed to make the motion during the last city council meeting. “We have given them all the opportunities to put things in check.”
The Yazoo City Municipal School District Board includes John Wallace, who serves as president, Willye Thomas, Debra Crook, Lula Starling and Dave Collins.
The relationship between the school trustees and city leaders has been rocky over the past several months. Invitations to attend each other’s board meetings have resulted in little if any response. And the last public meeting between the city council and Lucille Lovette, interim superintendent, ended with a cold reception.
Brent said it is time to wipe the slate clean with the current school board and start afresh with qualified people.
“I make the motion to have the mayor write a lette, requesting that the board resigns so we can get some people over there who care about our school district,” Brent said.
Brent said the district is “falling apart” with lackluster academic performances, uninviting board meetings and an over-extension of power given to Lovette.
“John Wallace and I are very good friends, and I hope that our friendship will not be severe, but that board rubber-stamps everything that lady (Lovette) wants to do,” Brent said. “It is not the school board’s function to take direction from that superintendent.”
Brent added that too much money is being spent on “astronomical salaries,” particularly to out-of-town employees brought in with the new administration.
“Over $340,000 will be sent to them (from the city in taxes),” Brent said. “That warrants them to come before this board.”
Brent wants to remind the school board that they are a public school district, and they have a responsibility to address the public whether it be through citizen’s comments or attending the city council meetings.
Alderman Dr. Jack Varner said he completely agrees with Brent.
“They are not educating our children,” Varner said. “We have hoped and prayed...but it is not happening in Yazoo City.”
However, Varner said he has been unable to find anyone within his ward who would be willing to serve on the school board.
“They have been appointed in the past, but they won’t put up with it, and they quit,” Varner said. “Do we have five members who could step in there and do the job?”
Mayor Diane Delaware said that discussion was for another time. But she also said she agrees that the school district is unsuccessful, adding that the district’s leadership is “inappropriate and improper.”
“It’s time for you to go,” Delaware said. “We need to look for a school board that is willing and ready to listen to the community, willing and reading to speak with this board about its functions and willing and ready to speak to parents about their children.”