The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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October 12, 2012

Candidates present visions at forum

(Continued)

Friday, October 12, 2012 — Tracy Lowder (D4):

I look at it as our budget at home. We have to look at what we have coming in.

And like Mr. Barbee said if we’re not being good stewards of our money, that our state, county and local government are so graciously giving us, and we have monies that are being wasted, I don’t consider that a good steward.

It’s just not good.

The budget is probably the top priority because it should really be taken, where our academics go first.

Our kids are first.

Tim Smith (D3)

While considering budget cuts, the thing we got to make sure of as a county is that we don’t lose focus on what this system is about, and that is educating kids.

Because they are our present and also our future.

There are ways for us to be innovative in budget cuts, and, for example, I have an idea.

One of the ways would be like in the form of communication.

For example, there’s a lot of new technology available to us like Magic Jack.

If we purchased iPads for our administrators, say 34 that would be a total of $14,000. Purchase the Magic Jack package for  a year, that’s $20 (each). That comes up to like $680.

For an initial cost of about $1,500 [Editor’s Note: This is his actual total commented.], that would (provide) the instruments for our administrators to evaluate teachers, communicate with one another and do a ton of things they do on a daily basis.

And the extending cost would only be a $680, that would be a flat rate.

Angela Mills (D 3)

I don’t know that there are any easy answers in what can be done.

There has been declining I think our administrators have done a good job of looking everywhere possible to make the possible cuts.

Personnel accounts for 80 percent of our budget. And with attrition, thank goodness teachers didn’t have to be laid off, but schools are still affected because they didn’t get to replace all of those people.

Because personnel takes up 80 percent of the budget.

And we talk about not cutting teachers but that’s where it’s going to have to happen unless our community can come up with better ways of funding our schools, and getting more money back in there because with the state and federal, we’re being cut.

Our school system has no independent way of raising funds on its own, so our community is going to have to decide this.

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