Parents outraged by Chattooga Co. school board's decision to lengthen school week
Hundreds of people in Chattooga County are demanding answers after the school board voted
to take the district's school schedule from four days a week back to five.
The decision was made Thursday night after several new members were sworn in and many parents and students aren't too happy about it.
"Sworn in and within less than 10 minutes the decision had been made," said one parent, Angela Vietch.
So far 1,600 people and counting have signed a petition calling for Superintendent Jim Linderman to overturn the decision to add an extra day of the week back to the school schedule.
"As a parent with a lot invested in this school district it's kind of concerning," Vietch told Channel 3.
She says she felt powerless during Thursday night's Chattooga County school board meeting.
"(I) definitely felt powerless, you could say that because well--we weren't allowed to talk," Vietch recalled.
In a four to one vote, the board opted to change the district's school schedule from four days to five.
"We were aware that it was gonna be on the agenda but we assumed there was going to be some discussion," Vietch said.
The decision left many parents and students with questions.
"I think a lot is at stake," Vietch said. "They're going to have to come up with more funding. Does that mean losing jobs? Does that mean losing programs or are you gonna raise my taxes?"
Vietch says she's also wondering what it means for dual enrollment students like her two children.
"Caleb will begin college next year into his sophomore year because of the dual enrollment programs here. My daughter has already begun hers and she better have the same opportunities that he had as a junior and senior. I'll fight for that," she stated.
With a petition now heading toward 2,000 signatures, Vietch and others say they want their voices to be heard and board members to listen.
"Let's look at the data, go back and look at the test scores," she added.
One parent started that petition less than 24 hours ago and it is already aiming to get 2,500 signatures since it reached its goal of 1,500 earlier Friday afternoon.
Channel 3 reached out to all five school board members, school superintendent, Chattooga High School principal and district office for comment. We did hear back from two new comers on the board of education, Brad Hayes and Julia Houston.
Hayes told Channel 3, he did not want to make a comment at this time. Houston told Channel 3 that the decision was based on concerns about student academics, higher absentee rates and poor graduate outcomes.