Birmingham superintendent's small groups causing big stir

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Mixed reactions come from school leaders to an idea from the Birmingham Schools superintendent.
Dr. Craig Witherspoon has proposed a plan to meet with board members in small groups. He wants to discuss possible layoffs.     

Dr. Witherspoon tells FOX6 News he thinks the smaller group setting will give board members a better opportunity to ask questions before making a decision. Witherspoon says the district's financial status will likely force cutbacks. He says it is not clear how many positions will be cut.
Some opposed to the idea say Witherspoon is trying to get around the state's open meetings law. "If he wants to be transparent, and be open and get support of public, all business needs to be conducted in public," says Darryl Traylor with AEA. "Meeting in small groups with board members 2 or 3 at a time, it goes against everything they claim they want to be."

"Any of those meetings or information shared will make its way to a board meeting, so this is a way so board members are fully informed when they come to a board meeting," says Witherspoon.

Dr. Witherspoon is still waiting on a response from board members about the possible small group meetings. He said he is hopeful they will iron out dates soon.

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