Under the advisement of Macon County Schools’ attorney, John Henning Jr., the Board of Education signed a letter of intent with the Lindamood-Bell Learning Process (LBLP).
At the beginning of the specially called Sept. 6 work session for the board, LBLP representatives presented Henning Jr. with a letter of intent that outlines Macon County’s intention to implement LBLP. The board unanimously voted to take the recommendation of Henning Jr. and voted to approve it.
The letter explains, “The purpose of this letter is to outline the conditions pursuant to which Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, Inc., a California corporation (“Lindamood- Bell”), will provide services to Macon County Schools, (the “District”) during the 2011-12 school year.”
According to Henning Jr., the letter of intent does not legally bind Macon County to a financial commitment with LBLP. Henning Jr. noted that because of the length and depth of details in the full contract with LBLP, he was not able to advise the board to approve the contract without further review.
Henning Jr. is confident that the board will vote to approve the program in its entirety during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on September 26. “I believe they fully intend to enter in a full agreement with Lindamood-Bell,” he said.
In the event the board does not vote to continue a partnership with LBLP, the County is not legally bound to provide LBLP with any payment, but will make a pro-rated payment to the company for the services rendered up to that point. “I really don’t think that’s [voting against the program] going to happen. We don’t have to pay anything, but the right thing to do is to pay LBLP a pro-rated cost for what they have done,” he said.
The letter of intent outlines a schedule of payment for Macon County in the event an agreement is reached. A payment of $32,500 is due on September 15 and according to Henning Jr., because of the likelihood of the board voting to adopt the program at the Sept. meeting, the school system will probably make the payment on schedule.
If the board adopts the program and after nine scheduled payments to LBLP for the 2011-12 school year, the summer reading program, and materials for the program that will be purchased through Gander Publishing, Macon County will have invested approximately $340,000 in the professional development program.
During the work session, Carol Waldroop, head of Macon County School’s Elementary Curriculum and Instruction and Angie Cook, head of the Finance department, assured board members that the monies needed to pay for LBLP are currently available through carry-over funds.
Waldroop informed the board that the money she has set aside for LBLP will not take away from any existing programs currently being implemented in Macon County. She has carefully budget and conservatively reevaluated the way Title 1, At Risk, and Supplemental Education Service (SES) funds are allocated in order to provide the financial assistance needed for the program.
By the next board meeting, board members have requested to see a detailed explanation of how the program will be implemented throughout Macon County and a monetary estimate of how the plan would be sustained in future years.
According to Board Member Tommy Cabe, unless something really drastic comes up, he anticipates the program will be approved and will begin to be fully implemented. “My main concern was the money, I feel better knowing how the program is going to be paid for,” said Cabe. “The results are great and I like what I have seen from the LBLP."