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More details on Superintendent’s emergency powers

Last week the Sanger ISD board members voted 7:0 to delegate emergency powers to Superintendent Tommy Hunter. The Sanger News didn’t reach Dr. Hunter or school board president Ken Scribner before press deadline last week.

When reached this week, Scribner said, “This does not allow Dr. Hunter to operate without oversight. As a board member for over 11 years and president for the past 7, no superintendent has ever operated without board oversight. The authorization allows Dr. Hunter to conduct business on minor circumstances without calling a special meeting for the board to vote, waivers for miss school days, appraisals for principals, text book inventory and such. All business that was or will be conducted with this authorization will be presented to the board at the next scheduled meeting. Not at any time, during a pandemic or not would school districts funds be spent or allocated without board approval.”

All seven board members were in attendance for the vote last week: Members present: Ken Scribner, Jimmy Howard, Ann Marie Afflerbach, Sarah York, Lisa Cody, Mitch Hammonds, Zach Thompson.

Other school districts have made similar moves amid the pandemic. The resolution granting him such powers will last for 60 days.

When the board passed the resolution on June 8th, the intent of this resolution was to allow Dr. Hunter to conduct school business in a timely manner during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Without the passage of this resolution, the school board would have had to call numerous special meetings to approve actions, which needed to be taken by district administration.

During this time period while schools were closed, numerous documents such as waivers for Missed School Day of Instruction, Educator/Principal Appraisal, and Instructional Materials Inventory were submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on behalf of Sanger ISD. Waivers submitted to TEA require board approval prior to being approved. The resolution passed by the Board of Trustees, allows the superintendent to file such waivers. Once submitted, Dr. Hunter would report all waivers submitted to the Board of Trustees at the next available scheduled board meeting.

“The Board of Trustees still maintained oversight on all actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. As superintendent, I would discuss these actions with Board President Mr. Scribner, prior to submitting. The resolution allowed for events to happen in a swift manner, as the reporting requirements during COVID-19 changed rapidly and often. As superintendent I did not submit or take action without the school board having prior knowledge,” said Dr. Hunter.

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