Asheville City Schools central office entrance

Asheville schools resist transparen­cy in budget talks

Specifics on how the Asheville City Schools system spends its local allocation (at over $5,800 per student, the second-highest in North Carolina) and its plans to reduce costs have been hard to come by — and may have been concealed in violation of state open meetings law during a May 18 special closed session of the Asheville City Board of Education.

Parent’s story highlights difficulti­es connecting with Asheville City Schools

Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman disputed the account of a parent who said administrators failed to respond to repeated requests for information about what the closure of Asheville Primary School would mean to her daughter. After being provided with details by Xpress, Freeman spoke with Sara Shea on March 18.

Asheville Primary School

ACS preschool changes draw commission­er, community critiques

“The path we’re on right now is a collision that puts us backwards and actually takes classrooms offline,” said Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, regarding the Asheville City Schools plan to relocate preschool classrooms from Asheville Primary School to other elementary schools and Asheville Housing Authority developments.

Asheville Primary School garden

Asheville City Schools on path to budget deficit

“You can’t keep doing that year in and year out. You need to keep an eye on that,” external auditor Michael Wike told the Asheville City Board of Education about the school system’s spending at a Dec. 7 work session. “What happens when you don’t have a fund balance is almost like an individual living paycheck to paycheck: You can’t plan for the future whatsoever.”

Gene Freeman

New Asheville superinten­dent to lead district starting June 1

During Asheville City Board of Education’s work session and regular meeting on April 2, board Chair Shaunda Sandford announced that Gene Freeman will begin work with the school system on Monday, April 20. He will formally take over from interim Superintendent Bobbie Short as of Monday, June 1. The board also selected Derek Edwards as Asheville High School principal.