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Panel accepts Bedden resignation letter

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The Richmond County school board gave tentative approval Tuesday to an early departure for Superintendent Dana Bedden, who in March accepted a job in Irving, Texas.

A committee of the board unanimously accepted and approved a resignation letter from Bedden, with his last day being June 18 -- six weeks before the end of his three-year contract.

The resignation date needs final approval by the full board at its next meeting, set for Tuesday.

"We would just end his contract as of June 18," school board attorney Pete Fletcher said.

Fletcher said that Bedden won't be paid the $24,000 he would be owed for the period from June 18 to July 31, when his original contract was to end.

Bedden's contract to become superintendent of the Irving Independent School District lists a start date of July 1. He had said that he would stay in Augusta at least through the budget planning process for next fiscal year. Fletcher said the June 18 date complies with that offer because the budget should be firmed up by mid-June.

In his resignation letter, Bedden said that he was requesting June 18 as his last day "in order to prepare my daughter to begin her new school on June 28, 2010."

Also at Tuesday's committee meetings, members were told that the school system learned this week it would receive $4 million less in state allocations than anticipated for next fiscal year. That brings the total cut to $21 million for next year.

The board was told that the system should be able to offset the extra reduction partly because it received about $770,000 more in state funds this fiscal year than it had anticipated and it delayed the implementation of a new insurance plan.

In a somewhat contentious debate, the board discussed a parent request to add a basketball team to A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet school. Board member Jimmy Atkins asked that the idea be considered for as early as next school year. He noted that the school already has other sports.

"This isn't a brand-new concept, folks," Atkins said. "I'm not asking us to reinvent the wheel."

But some board members said they feared establishing a basketball team at a magnet, which draws students from throughout the county, could create an unfair countywide recruiting effort and detract from the school's academic focus.

"I am a firm believer of if it's not broke, don't fix it," board member Barbara Pulliam said. "And the magnet schools have been the pride and joy of this county."

The committee ultimately decided to have staff and the board attorney research the idea further.

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Riverman1 05/11/10 - 08:10 pm
His daughter's school begins

His daughter's school begins in June? I wonder if they have some kind of almost year round school?

BamaFanNGa 05/11/10 - 09:30 pm
Dr. Bedden, Thank You for a

Dr. Bedden, Thank You for a job well done. You brought professionalism back to the Office of Superintendent of Schools for Richmond County that has not been present since John Strelec retired.

bettyboop 05/11/10 - 10:58 pm
Thank God and pass the

Thank God and pass the tylenol !

Insider Information
Insider Information 05/12/10 - 12:46 am
Thank you, Dr. Bedden, for

Thank you, Dr. Bedden, for the gains made. We still have much to do, but thank you for ignoring the naysayers and pressing forward with the work that needed to be done.

lifelongresidient 05/12/10 - 07:55 am
when it comes to athletics,

when it comes to athletics, DROP EVERYTHING!! there is more debate on adding a SPORTS TEAM at johnson than there is/was concerning the lack of school supplies and/or school safety. johnson and davidson need to be left alone they are thre schoold districts flagship educational facilities let those who want to play basketball go to the traditiona sports academies..oops i mean high schools they the other high school might as well concentrate of sports since academics isnt high on the priorities list, if it was at least one traditional high school would have made ayp

jdoggtn 05/12/10 - 08:00 am
There's nothing bad about

There's nothing bad about allowing students to play sports, which teaches teamwork, leadership and many other positives, but since A. R. Johnson is a magnet, set a higher GPA requirement for eligibility there, let's say 3.0, so that the players are STUDENT athletes there. It wouldn't be unfair, because students with lower GPAs who want to play sports could stay in their district schools.

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