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Capital Spending

  • Elementary Schools are substantially over-crowded and hundreds of children are educated in temporary modular classrooms that are inadequate for their long-term educational needs;
  • Our School Board supported the delay in building new elementary schools for political reasons in 2014, taking a back seat to the community college;
  • No bonds have yet been passed to build the elementary schools we need- and the school board is complicit in that failure;
  • The school board is notorious for its lack of proper notice and public engagement on major spending projects resulting in poor public awareness, minimal competition for construction contracts, cost over-runs on awarded projects and poor quality control;
  • State lottery money has been used almost exclusively for HVAC upgrades and other maintenance projects, not for long-term construction projects;
  • All major facility projects needed for K-12 education ought to be present and in the proper priority order in the County’s 5-Year Capital Spending plans- this hasn’t been the case for the past 6 years.

Technology Initiatives

  • Technology is very important to our 21st Century learning environment- but our funds must be spent on technology programs that have empirical evidence leading to improved achievement and growth

  • The school board rarely discusses technology initiatives in its meetings, relying instead on private discussions and agreements between the Chairman, Superintendent and Central Office on major decision-making

  • All of our STEM classrooms and computer labs should be wired for high bandwidth access to the internet so we can access worldwide educational resources

  • The 1:1 Laptop initiative turned out to be a massive waste of time and money- conservatively more than $5M was spent on this major classroom and learning distraction, with no plans for maintenance and refresh of the devices;

  • We still have not refreshed our initial stocks of laptops (actually, HP Netbooks) and many are in disrepair or simply stored away, not being used

  • Laptops should not be a substitute for student textbooks, which have been proven essential to the learning process

  • The Rosetta Stone project was also more of a distraction than an educational benefit- no studies or analyses were used to justify the major classroom disruption caused by carving out precious teaching time for young children to play with language software

  • The Board fails to coordinate its technology spending plans with the Board of Commissioners, resulting in distrust and lack of support from the very people we need funding assistance

Teacher Pay

  • We want Lee County school teachers to be paid at or near the highest level in the state

  • Teacher pay is determined by the General Assembly, but our local school board determines the supplemental pay carved out of each year’s budget
  • I support spending more of our K-12 budget on teacher supplements, even though we already rank in the top third in the amount of supplements paid to our teachers
  • We need to be competitive with Moore and Chatham counties in total teacher compensation so we retain our best teachers.

School Report Cards & Performance

State report cards from DPI reflect Lee County schools rank among the bottom 40 of 115 systems in the state for Academic Achievement

The Lee County School system rank next to last - 114 of 115 school systems – for Academic Growth according to DPI

Only 3 Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School met growth expectations in 2014-15 school year, while the other 9 schools failed to meet growth objectives

On the last published EVASS Scores for the state in 2015, Lee County High School tied for last in Academic Growth out of over 474 public high schools;

The remediation rate of our high school graduates heading to community colleges is getting worse, while the rest of the state is getting better;
Nearly 50% of our high school graduates require remedial work in at least one area before they can take credit-bearing community college courses; (48.6 as reported by the state community college system and rising)

Only 7.9% of our high school students taking the ACT Test are meeting all state benchmarks for performance on that assessment of college readiness.

K-12 Education Programs

  • Lee County schools have implemented numerous programs that were not advised or supported by the state Department of Public Instruction, programs that did not have adequate empirical evidence to justify introduction in Lee County
  • Some programs have been seriously counter-productive- like the 1:1 Laptop initiative and the Rosetta Stone language implementation
  • Programs like these are costly or consume much valuable teacher time, denying adequate classroom time for our over-burdened teachers
  • The School Board repeatedly fails to discuss and evaluate new programs using standard cost-benefit analysis;
    The administration of too many of these programs consumes precious classroom teacher time and results in poor student performance
  • Every education program we implement should be approved by DPI, properly evaluated, and supported by evidence from multiple locations in the state, contributing in a measurable way to improving achievement and growth in our schools
  • K-12 Education Policies
    There are more than 430 documented policies and regulations for LCSS

  • None of these 430 or so policies address School Board or Administrator accountability for performance in our schools

Lee County K-12 Education Strategic Plan

During the tenure of Dr. Moss, a strategic plan was developed and published on the LCSS website- it contained several pages of useful metrics to assess annual progress in many areas.
The year after Dr. Moss left, the 5-Year plan was updated and published by Dr. Bryan- it remained almost word for word identical to the one from Dr. Moss, except that all performance measurements were removed from the plan, making it difficult to assess annual progress;
Today, there is no strategic plan posted anywhere on the LCSS site – a giant step backwards for Lee County educational achievement and growth.

The Top 3 Attributes of Lee County Schools

  1. We have well-educated and strongly committed teachers throughout the county- educators who care deeply about making our school system the best it can be

  2. We have modern, well-maintained facilities where our children can be properly educated.

  3. We have a strong community college partner that helps implement education and training of our secondary school students to enable them to secure post-secondary education and employment.

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