OCTOBER 14 , 2016

Introductions and brief update on impact of Hurricane Matthew on districts- power outages, roads flooded, trees down, school closed.
Dr. Washington led a discussion about a school district’s  efforts to communicate with public about a referendum to build new building.

At one meeting in a church a business woman, who is in her 80’s, said that she and her husband are concerned that the increase in taxes will be a burden to local businesses and that the burden will be passed along to her children, who will inherit the business.

Another woman commented that she does not want to pay for new schools that are filled with teenaged girls who are having babies. A school board member objected to her characterization of their young women and told her teen pregnancy in their schools is not widespread.

One frequent question to the architect was, “Will the school construction provide jobs for local people?” The answer is, “Yes.”

There would be a tax increase.

While schools have always striven to be happy, safe places for children to learn, today we must spend more resources focusing on ensuring security.

Discussion about how school  superintendents talk to their communities in different ways, both because the communities are different and the superintendents are different. We concluded there was no “right” or “wrong” way to interact with their communities. Superintendents have the same goal: to provide quality education that meets the needs of their students.

Discussion about the fact that in public meetings it is sometimes good to point out that there are some people present who just don’t care about educating our children. When these people speak up those who do want quality education for children are more motivated to take constructive action in support of education.

While it may be difficult for some superintendents to speak up publicly, as individuals, about the tremendous and urgent needs of rural schools, they are willing to voice their opinions as a group.

We need a forum where superintendents and others who value education can come together to identify and solve problems. AASA has “like” groups where leaders from rural, suburban and urban districts can meet separately.

Superintendents and legislators need to agree that we cannot each be only for our own district. Our goal most be for all districts to have the resources they need. Each district has different needs.
Perhaps some rural superintendents could make a presentation a statewide conference.

Discussion about –

finding a legislator who is interested in supporting legislation to help rural districts (a white knight).

Speaking to all of the statewide educational organizations to focus on helping rural schools

Continue dialogue with Department of Education

The possibility of the state to commit “new” money to help rural schools? If SC can’t get new money for roads, which everyone uses, how can we get new money for education?

Legislation to provide assistance for rural and small districts. 

More discussion:
If it is true that we are each the sum of our experiences, how can SC accept the fact that some of our children attend schools offering many AP courses, three foreign languages while other schools have  pails in their hallways to catch the water dripping from the ceilings?

The Hillmans will continue to visit rural districts and meet with the leadership of SC education organizations.

A committee was organized to create a presentation for statewide conferences.

An additional committee was created to foster gatherings across the state of rural superintendents.

The next meeting for SCORS will be on Friday, Dec. 9 , 2016 at 10 a.m. at EdVenture.

END - October 14, 2016 Meeting Minutes