Although SRC schools have done well within the state my focus will be to take us to the next level. Our children must now compete on the global stage and we are falling short in competing with the world. I want to be a driver for higher educational results that will put our children in position to compete and be successful on a larger scale.
How can we solve the budget woes facing the school system today?
You do it similar to how a business would. You don’t buy, contract, or hire anyone that doesn’t have a definable impact on the final outcome; a responsible, educated, ready to enter the workforce citizen. Anything or anyone that does not meet that criteria should not be entertained in a school board vote.
What issues do you feel needs the school board’s focus and attention?
I joined this race because we need more accountability and transparency. It is the taxpayers’ dollars and everything we do as a school board and within our school district must be open to the public. As a school board member my focus will be to include all stakeholders in this very important issue of educating our children. In my view there is no such thing as too much information. My belief is that our citizens deserve to know what we do, in detail. I will also encourage the citizens to engage their elected officials at every level. It is my wish to be very visible within the district’s schools and to foster a partnership between teacher, administrator and the tax paying citizen.
How do you propose to improve education in this economic climate?
Start with the basics. More money is not likely to be coming forth in the near future. We cannot control the economy but there are factors that we can control. First and foremost is to hire the most expertly qualified candidate for the position whether it be for teaching, administrating, or support staff. Employ hard working, ethical and moral professionals beyond repudiation. Current employees that are not meeting these standards should be given the opportunity to make the needed changes and if after an evaluation period, if these changes have not come to fruition they should look for another profession that more closely fits their personality. I plan on being a liaison to the taxpayer within the schools to partner with administration in order to insure the county maintains the highest standards among its employees.
You don’t try to fix the situation by increasing taxes on an already economically stretched taxpayer.
What is hurting education today and how do you propose to fix it?
Teacher morale is at an all time low. This is due to two conditions. First, testing (FCAT) has brought new meaning to waste of valuable teaching time (in regard to test preparation, time lost during testing day, time lost for test makeups, retakes, etc.). Teachers are asked to do much more than simply teach their coursework and maintain classroom order. Secondly, teacher morale is low due to a distrust of the leaders above them. It is my intent to stay in touch with our local state representatives and to use my position as a platform to address Tallahassee of the concerns at the county level.
Can the Santa Rosa County School System be more fiscally responsible with tax payer dollars?
Any system can be more fiscally responsible. Business owners do it every day because in the end the more pennies they pinch the more their business remains fiscally fit. The School Board should continue to look for innovative ways to make the greatest use of hard earned taxpayer dollars.