Superintendent meets requirement

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We believe Franklin City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle has satisfied the district’s residency requirement.

During Thursday’s school board meeting, resident William Kannan accused Belle of violating her two-year contract by not establishing a full-time residency here. Kannan claimed Belle is not in Franklin seven days a week, only Monday through Friday.

After the meeting, Belle told The Tidewater News she is a resident of Franklin. She has lived at Meadow Ridge Apartments for more than a year.

Belle also maintains a home outside the area with her husband, who could not make the move here without a job.

Belle admits she’s not always here on weekends, but claims that’s not a requirement. She visits her mother on many of those weekends.

Belle also said she works well beyond the required 37 hours a week.

In an ideal world, Belle and her family would be in Franklin full time, get to know the community and become part of its social fabric. That should be her goal.

But the school board would tread on thin ice if it started micromanaging what its administrators do on the weekend.

Belle should be judged by her performance alone. She has a huge challenge, as we were reminded again recently by the division’s failure to meet federal Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks. If she restores our public schools to their once-proud status, we don’t give a flip where she sleeps on Saturday.