Monday, March 10, 2014

Gloucester, VA Boards, Enhancement Thru Consolidation

The days of dysfunction between the Gloucester Board of Supervisors and the Gloucester School Board needs to come to an abrupt and immediate end.  We all know the school system will be funded; so why is school funding once again being used as a political tool?  The Gloucester Board of Supervisors has always fairly funded the public education process for “all youth” within the County.  What has been done with those funds has been completely left up to school staff and the School Board.  As things are now; the School Board and school staff are overburdened with way to many distractions that take their time and efforts away from concentrating on administering a high quality and fully complete K-12 education process. 

 The School Board members are bound by the duties of their office to first and foremost oversee the administration of such an education process.  However, School Board meetings focus primarily on managing school system support items with very little time spent on the actual education process.  Most of the distractions that are taking the focus off of the actual education process can be eliminated by consolidating numerous school system services with County services.  Transportation, construction, facilities maintenance, land acquisition and use, grounds keeping, internet technology, finance, after school hours facilities use and any other overlapping services not directly related to or required for the hiring and management of school system employees or the administration of the education process should be consolidated with compatible County departments and be overseen by the Board of Supervisors.  Making these changes will allow school staff and the School Board to focus on enhancing the education process and will make the school system unusable as a political tool. Nothing will ever improve if the two boards don’t start getting along.  I wonder how many times in a year does a first grade teacher say to their students, “Now let’s all get along.”
Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.
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