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Congratulations to our new Coosa County school board. Thank you for your willingness to continue serving.
We know parents and other county citizens want to support the best education opportunities for all our children. At the end of the November meeting of the new board, “The Coosa County News” reported Superintendent David Stover asked for any public input. This open letter is humbly submitted as that input to improve our K-12 student performance in Coosa County.
The Coosa County Schools Policy Manual, Section I, states it well: “The Coosa County School System is committed to empower all students to develop their full potential through an innovative educational system characterized by a committed staff, challenging curriculum, and collaborative community partnerships.”
The two keys to making this happen are (1) parental engagement in their child’s education and (2) local control of our own schools.
While the board can do and does much to encourage parental involvement in education, the centralized and comprehensive national Common Core system controls our schools from Montgomery and Washington, D.C. However, Alabama law allows public schools called “charter schools” to operate with the same state funding, but without most of the bureaucratic mandates.
In short, we can convert our Coosa public school system from centralized control to local control by establishing it as a charter school system. Same funding, but local control of curriculum and policies.
The Coosa County Board of Education’s commitment to “empower all students” through an “innovative educational system” cannot happen unless the board itself is empowered to make the necessary improvements to do so. As Alabama Code Section 16-6F-3 states, “Different students learn differently, and public schools should have the ability to customize programs to fit the needs of individual students.”
We challenge the Coosa County Board of Education to take seriously their commitment “to empower all students to develop their full potential.” The first step would be to establish a Founding Board that would chart the path to convert Central Elementary and Central High schools to locally controlled charter schools.
Thank you for listening.
Charles A. Orr