The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education's advisory task force has been disbanded. The school board made the decision a short time ago at its first meeting of 2005 at the Whitney Administrative Complex on Laura Street in Savannah.
Board members all wanted the ten-person task force to help with SACS compliance. Now that group will work as a private citizens' committee.
School board critic Roger Allen thinks it's a smart move. "I think they ought to be able to talk frankly amongst themselves," he said. "I think because these people are in positions, they're not just citizens, they might want to say things, they might be more frank than the public might want them to be."
This afternoon the school board voted to dissolve the group officially, severing public ties with the task force.
Task force members say they will still meet, but acting superintendent George Bowen says it will not be as partners with the district. "So in other words, they are no longer a school-sanctioned committee," he told us. "They're an independent committee."
School board members would not comment, but Allen thinks it's time for the lawsuits to end. "I really wish Jackie Sommers and Rev. Small would withdraw their suit against [the task force]," he said. "I don't think that indicating to anybody that there's a reason to be suspicious of this group is going to be helpful."
Now the task force must wait to find out what the court says about the injunction filed by political action groups leading the effort to recall certain board members. The Unity Political Action group has stated it wants the task force to hold open meetings rather than meeting in private.