Former School Board Member Talks About Promise Neighborhood
A project to significantly improve the quality of education and development for children living in a Macon neighborhood is in the spotlight, after a lawsuit was filed last month, against the Bibb County School District.
Former School District CFO Ron Collier is alleging in his lawsuit, that his boss, Superintendent Romain Dallemand usurped the School Board's authority when trying to secure funding for the project, called Macon Promise Neighborhood.
Former School Board Member Susan Middleton says she remembers first hearing about the project last July.
"It was a really exciting project," Middleton said.
A memorandum of understanding regarding the Macon Promise Neighborhood dated July 20, 2012, says the project will improve educational and developmental outcomes of children in the most distressed schools in Bibb County.
The memorandum says the Promise Neighborhood will transform the community by building a complete continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions, which include both academic programs and family and community supports.
The Promise neighborhood would cover areas surrounding Ingram-Pye Elementary School, Matilda Hartley Elementary School, Ballard Hudson Middle School, and Southwest High School.
The project would be funded using local dollars, to secure matching federal grants, but where the proposal seems to be come messy is how much money the School District is putting into the project.
The memorandum, which Middleton says she doesn't know if she ever saw before Wednesday, says the district is committed to paying nearly $20 million over a reported ten years.
"I understood something like $250,000 per school which is about a million (per year)," Middleton said. "As happens in government, often times you've hit a roadblock that, I'm hopeful there will be a way to get around that, in terms of explaining about the lease and about the funds and exactly the school boards responsibility, and the other players as well, what their responsibility going forward," Middleton said.