Accusations Flying in Budget Dispute

A fight over school funding could be headed to court. The Beaufort County School Board claims the county commissioners are withholding necessary money over what the board calls personal vendettas, and says if the issue can't be worked out they're headed to court.

The school board drafted a three-page resolution Thursday night, saying commission chairman Jay McRoy threatened to only pass the school board budget if a cheerleading team his daughter coached was allowed to go on a cheerleading trip to Hawaii. That same report alleges vice chairman Jerry Langley would only pass the budget if his wife, a school system employee, was moved into a secretarial position.

Board of Education members also allege certain commissioners approached them saying they would only pass the budget if they terminated Superintendent Dr. Jeff Moss's contract. But county commissioners are firing back.

Commissioner Earl Tetterton, who wasn't mentioned in any of the allegations, said, "It's just gossip. I don't have a dog in this fight, and I'm not going to get involved."

Chairman Jay McRoy said, "I had hoped the school board would put a higher priority on educating the children rather than paying $100,000 to lawyers to sue their own citizens. I have always stated that I would support teachers and children for the costs of education in the classrooms, but not building a bigger central office."

The two sides will meet in a public mediation at the Beaufort County Courthouse at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night.