DUBLIN - Reacting to suggestions that Dublin school board members should be involved in interviewing applicants, Superintendent Roy Neff said rules would have to be changed in order to do so.

Neff said the Texas Association of School Boards suggested a few years ago that all school boards adopt protocol procedures so that every board member would have rules in writing to refer to when needed.

Current board rules call for Neff to make recommendations to the school board, but do not allow for school board members to sit in on interviews.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Neff reminded board members that the policies are on the district’s Web site.

“I just want to make sure you all understand - it makes things go real smooth if we all understand what we approved,” Neff said. “It provides harmony for everyone.”

Neff went on to say that board members could review the document online and that anything defined as a “best practice” could easily be changed.

“If you are not comfortable with one of these - if you can get three others (board members) to go along with you, then you can change it,” Neff said. “If you want to change something, I want you to go for it. It’s healthy. I might fight you tooth and nail on it and I might lose or I might win.”

Neff was met with several blank stares from board members who did not appear to understand why Neff was commenting on the protocol procedures.

Recognizing that fact, Neff went on to say that at the last meeting a board member made a comment about members interviewing job applicants and that he wanted to be sure they knew that would be possible if they wanted to make some changes.

Additionally, Neff said, “I don’t bring you three or four people. I bring one person as a recommendation, and if you don’t approve, I bring you another one. You can start interviewing them all, but we need to change the ‘blue book’ that we are operating under.”

The district’s “blue book” outlines protocol procedures for board members.

Board member Daniel Thiebaud said he wasn’t interested in interviewing teachers but he thought it would be a good idea if the board were involved in the process when principals were being considered.

Meanwhile, the board heard a report from William Coombs of Stovall, Grandey, and Watley, a firm located in Fort Worth.

“It’s been a good, strong year,” he said. “There were no negative variances on the budget comparison and that’s a good thing.”

It was noted that some board members did not have the required continuing education hours for the year ending in August 31, 2006.

The prior year report also disclosed that some board members did not have the continuing education hours for the previous year either.

Meanwhile, the board approved a budget amendment for this year in the amount of $18,000 for the topographical survey and soil borings needed for the construction of the new Intermediate School.

Neff said he was hoping to be able to recommend a construction manager- at risk but he wasn’t ready. Therefore the regular board meeting was approved to be moved to February 20 in order for those people that are involved in the construction and planning process to attend.

A public hearing on the 2005-06 Academic Excellence Indicator system was conducted. The report showed that Dublin students had increased test scores in almost all areas.

Neff noted that when he came to Dublin in 1986 the economically disadvantaged sector ranged in the 30 percent category and the report indicated that now that same sector has risen to 68 percent. In 1986, he said numbers of Hispanic students ranged from about 10 to 12 percent and the report showed those numbers had also risen to 48.5 percent, which is above the state average.

In a closed executive session the board extended the superintendent’s contract for one year.