Board members discuss BOE reduction votes - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Board members discuss BOE reduction votes

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Three board members...three different votes.

Emanuel Ford voted "No" to Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon's proposal for cuts.

"That was the best decision that I could make," he said. "Because I'm not going to mistreat our children."

Board member April Williams abstained from the vote.

"I voiced my unreadiness," she said.

Board member Brian Giattina voted "Yes" for the cuts.

"We have to make these cuts," he said.

Giattina blames the last 15-20 years, saying with so many changes in leadership, too much staff has been accumulated.

"Last night was an excellent attempt to realign school size, our declining population and deals with the laws that are set," he said.

Ford says the cuts were cutting too deep.

"My deepest concern was the teachers' aides," Ford said. "Many of those aides work with special needs children. If you look at who was being let go, the bulk of it was coming from that area."

Giattina says those cuts have to happen. Williams agrees but says she didn't have enough time to look over the proposal.

"I just needed time to review the information," she said.

Williams says the proposed cuts had changed at least four times in a couple weeks. And with not enough time to prepare, she felt she would have been making an uninformed decision.

"My decision to abstain meant that I was unready to vote," she said.

One unready, one for and one against. Three different opinions who all say their number one concern is the students.

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