The State Board of Education discussed a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist last night but took no action. The conversation took place behind closed doors, which is standard practice for personnel matters.
At least 200 people attended the public portion of the board meeting, some to testify in opposition to Gist and others to speak on a controversial measure to arm state college police. The board passed the measure on campus police, allowing each state university to make its own decision about arming campus police forces.
As one of its first actions, the brand new State Board of Education will take up tuition waivers granted to employees at state colleges and universities.
Board Chairwoman Eva-Marie Mancuso says she will appoint and chair a commission to consider changing to the policy, which provides free tuition to state college employees, their spouses and their children.
“I’m not going to prejudge it, I think we have to study the issue,” Mancuso says, but she adds her personal opinion is that the policy needs to change.