County, school board set joint meeting place

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SALISBURY — The joint meeting between Rowan County commissioners and the school board will continue Monday at the Cooperative Extension office.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners have scheduled a meeting at 5 p.m. Monday for mediation in an effort to resolve funding disputes.
The office is located at 2727 Old Concord Road in Salisbury.
The school board says the county is not allocating enough money in its 2013-14 budget to adequately fund the schools. The county says it cannot afford to make up the school system’s losses of federal and state funds.
The two boards initially held a joint meeting for this past Monday at 4:30 p.m. After hearing instructions by mediator Willis Whichard, they recessed the meeting to allow more time to prepare.
When there is a budget dispute, North Carolina law requires the two boards to meet within seven days of the county’s budget decision, which took place June 24. The school board called for the meeting on the evening of June 25.
After the continued public meeting, the boards can choose to continue negotiations through “working groups” in private mediation. Those groups include the chairmen, attorneys and finance officers of both boards, as well as the county manager and the school system superintendent.
If an agreement cannot be reached through the mediation process, the school board can file a lawsuit in state Superior Court.