The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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October 12, 2012

Candidates present visions at forum

Friday, October 12, 2012 — The Candidate Forum, sponsored by The Stanly County Chamber of Commerce, The Stanly News & Press, 1010 AM WSPC and Stanly Community College, allowed candidates for local, state and national races the opportunity to express their thoughts on a range of topics.

The following question and answer session is taken from Wednesday night’s forum as transcribed by SNAP Staff Writers Justin Jones, Ian Faulkner and Brian Graves.

More from this forum will appear in Sunday’s edition of the SNAP and on www.thesnaponline.com

School Board

Q: What improvements can be made in current school system budget?

Jimmy Schneider (D5):

Dealing with budget cuts, we’re going to continue to look at declining income to the school system.

The one thing that we can’t do, we have to make sure we do not affect academics itself.

We need to work with the finance director, work with the superintendent, work with the central office staff to make sure we create a budget that will ensure that we do not affect academics and that everything is fair across the board in all the schools.

School funding continues to be cut in each elementary school, middle school. It’s time that we improve operating efficiencies.

Mike Barbee (D5):

Well I think first of all, we got to be good stewards of taxpayer money.

And the fact that in the past, we’ve acted too hastily to make decisions that’s cost us money. We didn’t sit down and look through, take the time to research a lot of the problems that popped up on us ... transportation cost, parking lot repairs, lockers, mobile units. All this was not taken into consideration when a lot of the changes were made.

We got to be better stewards of the taxpayer’s money.

The teachers have been taking the biggest brunt of this and that affects our kids in the long run when you cut the teachers and you’re going to affect the kids in the longterm.

So we got to make sure they get a good education, while looking after those teachers.

We’ve had four schools close down in the last four years, and we need to look at what we’re doing there.

Because closing a school is not really a savings of money. It’s just a nicer way to say we’re going to cut jobs.

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