Who: David Monsouri, SCORE advocacy and communications What: Public community meeting When: 6 p.m., April 30 Where: First Baptist Church of Lenoir City Why: Explanation of education challenges from common core curriculum
Author: Vicky Newman Source: News-Herald
This year is not business as usual for educators.
Common core curriculum is coming down the educational pike, and educators and supporters want to explain exactly what that means to Loudon County residents and schools.
Wayne Miller, Lenoir City Schools superintendent, said the new standards are changing everything.
Ordinary budget struggles are magnified this year. Requirements beyond local control are chipping away at Basic Education Plan funding as officials face another year of little or no tax base growth with increased requirements.
School budgets will be finalized at the end of May and go to Lenoir City and Loudon County for adoption and funding in June. Surprises will be ahead if people do not take the initiative to learn what is happening.
"Everything we do revolves around common core and where we are in relation to everybody else," Miller said. "People need to know here is what is coming."
Miller said some state-mandated budget changes will put Lenoir City $202,000 behind from the outset. Jason Vance, director of Loudon County Schools, said the county's amount is close to $500,000.
"I don't think people understand what you've been through, trying to do more and more with less," Judy Fenton, Loudon County United Way director, said to Miller and Vance during a Thursday Loudon County P-16 meeting.
An overview of the complicated new state standards and its impact will be given Monday to Loudon County Commissioners.
Loudon County P-16 members and David Monsouri, a representative of State Collaborative on Reforming Education, will meet with commissioners to give them a preview of information that will be shared at 6 p.m. April 30 in a community-wide public meeting at First Baptist Church of Lenoir City. Vance said the new standards are creating deficits in budgets at every turn.
"We just had to spend $30,000 for two teachers to go to a training, just to get ready to test," Vance said. "We are going to be forced to make some tough decisions that will affect our children's education."
School officials and P-16 members have spent more than a year looking at how to explain the coming changes in a way that people will understand. The April 30 community meeting is a last-ditch effort. Monsouri, SCORE director of advocacy and communications, will serve as the group's "torch bearer," an objective spokesperson shining the light on education issues.
P-16 members feel it is imperative to inform the community and address the challenges ahead because they have major implications on the entire county. Although they wanted to brief commissioners before the community meeting as a courtesy, all commissioners will be invited to attend the community meeting.