Board Sets Goals, Passes Budget

Over the last couple of months, during a series of meetings, parents and community members in Meridian have been highly critical of what has been happening in the school district. Those complaints included discipline problems, testing issues, and dress codes, among other things.

Now, the school board and superintendent appear to be heeding that criticism, based on a Monday night meeting.

The Meridian School Board has a plan for its superintendent, Charlie Kent, and he has a plan for the district.

The board announced that it has conducted an evaluation of Kent and is setting some goals for him for the coming year.

School board members say, in the past, evaluations have been very generic, but this one was very specific to Kent, hoping to help move he and the entire district in the right direction.

"We are optimistic in the fact that we have set the goals that should lead the district," said board president Ed Lynch. "If the things we are requesting are done, I think the district will be moving in the right direction and get ultimately to where we want it to be."

Kent himself said he has a short-term plan to try to make things better, things that he has planned to get done before the next school year starts. Those include hiring a public relations person to improve communication, and hiring school resource officers, including two for Meridian High School, to help keep the campus secure and safe.

"Knowing what we have learned across the summer, this plan will address all of those issues, in a short period time," Kent said.

The 2009-2010 school year starts Aug. 27. Meridian Schools

The board also passed the budget for the coming year for about $70.5 million.
It does not include an increase in property taxes. About $9 million of the spending will be with money from the school bond issue that was passed a year ago.


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