F-F Board President Responds After Art McCoy Speaks Out

Paul Morris, president of the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education, this past week issued a new statement on the board action to place Supt. Art McCoy on paid leave as investigations continue in the matter. The full statement is as follows:

“ As a school board, we want the community to know that we, too, are frustrated we can’t say more on this matter. However, because this is a personnel matter, we are limited in what we can reveal. I want to emphasize that our decisions are ultimately being made with what is best for our students in mind.  We share Dr.  (Art) McCoy’s passion in creating an educational environment with the success of all students as our goal.

As a board, we continue to investigate numerous accusations and are taking the time necessary to conduct a complete and thorough investigation in order to make the best possible decision.  Once those investigations are complete, the Board will determine whether to bring Dr. McCoy back or terminate his contract. At that point, Dr. McCoy will be given the opportunity to either respond to the allegations in order to resolve them in the process of his return, or he will be able to address them at a board hearing as outlined in his contract. Since putting him on administrative leave, up until now, we have received no requests from Dr. McCoy or his attorney, to meet with the board.

Finally, despite what you may hear otherwise, I believe that it has been made clear to Dr. McCoy as to the reasons he is on administrative leave.

We know this is a hard time for our community.  We hope to resolve it quickly and return our focus to the reason our district exists, the kids.”

McCoy held a press conference last week in which he reiterated that he was not given any reason for his placement on leave two weeks ago. A public board meeting followed with the vast majority of speakers supporting McCoy. Since then there have rumors and numerous speculations about his placement on leave with pay.

While he told supporters the board gave him no reason for its 6-1 vote to place him on administrative leave, he emphasizied that “no letter was sent” to him. McCoy did state that the board told him they didn’t support his school choice views  and student transfer process.

McCoy had opening supported the school transfers of students from Riverview and Normandy School District which resulted in additional cost to the district  and the addition of 15 teachers and teacher assistants. Ferguson-Florissant has the most transfers from those districts with new 430 students.

As this local controversy continued, the Missouri Legislature and state educators are about to debate changes in the Missouri school transfer law. Under the current law, students in unaccredited school districts can transfer to better schools at the expense of the district where the student resides.

McCoy also stated that he never asked any district employee to alter attendance records , which the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary School had found and that  gave the district and additional $80,000 in state funding


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