"With your support, I'll continue to bring a compassionate, common sense, community oriented, service focused, and faith based parent perspective to the Cabarrus County School Board. I strongly believe in fiscal responsibility, parent involvement, community partnerships, supporting and rewarding great teachers and staff, the use of technology, and individualized engaging curriculum and programs for students as ways to help our school system and ultimately our community thrive."
Providing a sound education to the students of Cabarrus County is why we are here for and why we do was we do. My goals are a improving our student achievement, career and college readiness, and our high school graduation rate as an important way to demonstrate we are successful in our mission.
Cabarrus County Schools provides a sound free public education to all children regardless of their economic background, disability, or language barrier. Some of these students may not be at the proficiency level the State assesses them at but teachers work every day to see they achieve a years worth of learning growth over a full school year. Working to reduce this achievement gap is a challenge our school system faces.
This is also a competitive world and we need to prepare all our students to be successful at work, military, higher education and adult life as citizens when they graduate.
Since students learn differently, have varied interests, and backgrounds, and abilities, we need to continue find and offer programs that engage and challenge our students at their ability level and provides them skills that help them compete for spots in higher education or locally in the workforce.
Cabarrus County has been experiencing tremendous population growth. Although this improves economic development and prosperity in our county, it stresses infrastructure, especially our schools.
Many of our schools in these high growth areas are at capacity with students having to learn in mobile classrooms, they have less opportunity for programs that interest them, and class sizes are exceeding optimal learning environments. System wide we are adding almost 800 new students each year.
Even with the new schools that were recently funded being built, more new schools will be needed soon. The school system has enhanced magnet options, purchased mobile classrooms, encouraged creative measures, and made some substantial boundary line changes but these are only temporary solutions as long as growth continues, it will be a challenge.
Remember an important function and responsibility of the school board is creating and adjusting boundaries when schools are built. Some big changes will continue to occur over the next 4 years as schools are built and adjustments area made.
School Funding and Budget
The total annual CCS budget exceeds $300 million with local funding over $70 million for CCS operations alone. The County has also spent millions on capital projects.
There are many opportunities and challenges in educating such a diverse school system approaching 34,000 students. School Budgets are necessary but complicated set of different accounts, funds, allocations, mandates, and restrictions. The State and Federal Government place many requirements on or system and funding they provide dictates and restricts a lot of what can be done.
The School Board does not have revenue generating authority and has to rely on the County to provide that additional funding so we can provides the students the resources and facilities they need to make this a successful school system. With that said, there are many more needs that can be reasonable funded each year and the board not only has to prioritize those needs we need to be able to justify and communicate those needs in an understandable way to the county commissioners who ultimate provide the local funds to operate the school system.
Cabarrus County Schools is our school system and should reflect our community and its values. We know what is best for our students and where our resources should best be invested. There is too much being dictated at the Federal and State level and we need local officials to advocate for our community, its values, and our students and implement policies that protect and allow local flexibility.
Parent involvement is a key ingredient to student success at school and life. Parents know their kids best and it takes a partnership with the school, teachers, and their students to encourage learning, support their individual learning style, provide supports and accountability, to help reach their full potential.
Our school system needs to continue to prioritize parental involvement, listening to families, keeping them informed, and assisting them on how to best help their kids and school community.
Teachers and System Staff
Good teachers and staff are the backbone of a great school system. They aren’t in this profession to get rich but are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and skills and making a lasting difference in the lives of students.
Teacher morale and teacher pay are important issues. We all can remember at least one teacher who invested and made an impact on us and its a huge loss when they leave the profession.
We need to continue to work to make our county a great place for teachers to work, provide them working conditions, resources, professional development, and administrative support that they need to be effective in the classroom. We need to be competitive in pay to attract teachers and should be able to reward those that do more and are most successful.
Our schools have a huge impact on our community. Cabarrus County Schools provides a great value and is a school system to be proud of. With 33,000 students, growth, facility needs, and many mandates and potential law changes, there are many issues facing our school system. It is critical the community, elected officials, parents, and staff know and understand those issues and also learn about other needs and how to get involved and help.
The board needs to continue to work to keep communication lines open, listen to input, and recognize and share the good things going on with our schools and students as well advocate for issues and how stakeholders should respond to help.
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our school system and our teachers and community are doing the best they can with virtual learning. I am following the data, listening to experts, recommendations from the Superintendent and feedback from staff and community as well as my own experience with a High School Student with an IEP.
I believe our children are best served in an in-person classroom instruction environment and want to see our kids get back back in the classroom and extra curricular activities allowed to continue as soon as we can safely do that. I support a phased approach to getting student back to school starting with youngest students that science says experience the least impact and have low rates of transmission.