Two Preston schools remain open as board considers levy

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Board of Education tabled action on the closing of two schools Tuesday night and will be looking at running another school levy.
The vote, taken before a large audience at the Preston High theater, was 4-1, with Board Member Jeff Zigray voting against it. Board Member Pam Feathers made the motion, and Bob Ridenour seconded it.
Board attorney Rebecca Tinder said that “to clarify, it’s technically not a table. The motion is to run a levy and revisit whether or not to close the two schools.”
After the initial motion passed, all five voted, 5-0, to direct the superintendent to seek a waiver from the State Board of Education on meeting the Dec. 31 state deadline for completing actions on school closures prior to the year in which the schools would close.
If a waiver is granted, Tinder said, it’s unknown for how long it would be. “Presumably long enough to do whatever it is that this board is requesting the extension for. And if that were to run the levy, to have the levy prepared, drafted, published, etc., and then put onto a special levy election,” she said.
Board Member Robert “Mac” McCrum held his head in his hands and thought before voting on the motion to table. Feathers, who had made the motion, urged, “If you’re not
100 percent sure, Mr. McCrum, you cannot vote against it. You have to be 100 percent sure.”
“Come on, Mac, give these kids another chance,” someone in the audience said.
Board President Jack Keim hushed the crowd as it began speaking out. There was applause after each “yes” vote.

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