OCPS: Barbara Jenkins Passes The Buck In Richmond Heights Elementary Closure

Barbara JenkinsMs. Barbara Jenkins is the Orange County School Board Superintendent. Prior to her promotion, Ms. Jenkins was the Deputy Superintendent for Orange County Schools. Deputy Superintendent is the position that she held during the Orange County School Board meeting, when the Board voted to close Richmond Heights Elementary School.


Ms. Jenkins did not say much during that meeting on October 25, 2011, and she did not cast a vote for or against the closure of Richmond Heights Elementary. The thing that she did was far more important than voicing a ballot. Ms. Jenkins is the person who actually allowed the vote to happen when she alone could have stopped it. She chooses to allow the School Board's Lead Attorney, Diego Rodriguez, to mislead the board and vote on an issue that never should have come up for vote.

Mr. Rodriguez talked around the issue of an agreement made between the NAACP and the Orange County School Board. That agreement clearly states that Richmond Heights Elementary cannot be closed unless there is a dramatic revenue shortfall. According to an e-mail received from the school board accounting office, there was no revenue shortfall. In fact, Orange County Public Schools have millions of dollars in surplus funds.

Here is part of the audio from the school board meeting of 10/25/11.  Listen to the first 8 minutes decide it Mr. Rodriguez mislead the Board.

Attorney Rodriguez mislead the board and allowed them to vote on an issue that really should not have been on the docket for review. Ms. Barbara Jenkins knew about the agreement and also knew that the vote itself was illegal. She should have stopped the vote but instead, she passed the buck and allowed the vote that closed our neighborhood school.

Ms. Barbara Jenkins has failed our community.