Dear Bradley County,
I have been to recent county commission meetings and listened to the Chairman of the Bradley County School Board plead with the Commissioners to rethink taking funding away from our schools. It is obvious to me now that they are done listening to him. One commissioner made it very clear that no one is calling him about this issue. That is the reason for my letter. The Commissioners need to hear from you.
I had hoped 2007 held a step up for us but while attending the County Commission meetings I can see that is not in our future. I was confused when the commission voted to take interest money that the school system had always received for operating in the past. I was shocked when they voted to take a portion of the school's growth money and I left the meeting after the Ocoee Middle School Project did not receive full funding to be completed. I admit until I decided to run for The Board of Education I, like most parents and taxpayers, thought everything was wonderful in our school system. As far as teachers, principals, administration and staff are concerned, I know they are wonderful. What I didn't know is how hard we, as a county, make it for those people to do their jobs. WE are allowing the Commissioners WE voted into office to make it even harder for them to do their job. Just imagine how much easier it would be for our children to learn if they had the resources in the classroom that an AVERAGE funded school system has. Obviously our teachers stepped up to the plate long ago; now the rest of Bradley County needs to follow their lead; not just parents but all taxpayers. This affects everyone………. these children will grow up and hopefully go to college and become good leaders for our county and state and make better decisions for our county which affects us whether we have kids in school or not. It is time for ALL elected officials to quit worrying about the next election. Quit pushing our school system down the funding ladder…….. the average school system is ranked 67th - WE are 130th - the bottom is 135. This number has nothing to do with new school buildings. The county has funded new schools and renovations to old schools and that's great but without proper funding we can't put teachers in those nice new buildings. Buildings are not included in the ranking for any school system. This is an equal comparison of per pupil spending with other counties and our children deserve the same opportunities as children in other counties. Please contact your Commissioners and let them know how much you value education for our children.
I have always been proud to say I am from Bradley County, born and bred but now when I attend Board of Education conferences and workshops where other counties are present and they put the numbers up on the BIG screen for all to see…………… I don't sit quite as tall.
Bradley County Board of Education 6th District