After numerous people in District 1 have asked about my position with Unified, I feel that it needs to be clarified. I served on the APEX Steering Committee, which gathered information from approximately 4,000 residents of Hamilton County. Parents, teachers, grandparents, and concerned community members responded. Those responses were grouped into categories and results were published. That's it, no more and no less.
I know politics were not discussed because I was there. I can assure everyone that I am not an elitist and certainly not liberal. I am extremely conservative and, like everyone else on the committee, want the best for kids in Hamilton County.
While we all do not agree on the findings (I don't agree with some of it either), I do advocate having conversations. Personally, I believe total open enrollment is the answer. When a school has room and the parents/guardians can provide transportation then any child in the county should be able to attend any school they choose. However, the county cannot afford the cost of that transportation. It is just not feasible.
One big concern from the public survey was to recruit and keep good teachers. Give good teachers incentives to work in lower performing schools and pay them competitively. This has worked before. Lindsay Starnes at Clifton Hills is a prime example and may be one of the best principals we have in our county system. Future Ready is a solid idea because our students can get a diploma and even earn an industry certification. But once again, transportation is expensive. Hopefully, the school board will be able to work through this detail.
For those of you that think our school board is terrible, you've not been to a meeting or talked to those that are serving. I believe they are hard at work to improve the education of our students. I want to thank them for their hard work and service.