School Board forum gets candidates talking

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - At a forum Monday night, Muscogee County School Board hopefuls were asked the tough questions, about waste in the county's budget, magnet programs, and schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress.

With the issues the School Board has faced, trying to balance a budget this year, money was on a lot of people's mind - how and where to spend it.

The forum was hosted by Midtown, Inc. and focused on that area of Columbus.  So, those running for district Six, Mark Cantrell and Incumbent Brenda Storey, were not there.

Candidate for District 8, Beth Harris, wants more vocational programs throughout the district.  "We need to spend more resources on vocational education.  I think that we need to focus more on what students need, rather than what the administration needs," said Harris.

Her opponent, Brinkley Pound, said the Board needs to be proactive, not reactive.  "My first task is to get in there and make sure that whatever we are doing, whatever funds we are spending, whatever programs we are approving are research based and data driven and designed to improve student achievement for students in Columbus," said Pound.

For the school board's At Large seat, we asked Incumbent Cathy Williams and her opponent, Adele Lindsey, about what issues they would tackle if elected.  Williams has this to say, "The very first thing is going to be to do substantial research on race to the top and understand what that means to our district.  And, the next thing is going to be to sit down with the administration and figure out when we can make our employees paychecks whole again."  Opponent, Adele Lindsey said, "Making sure that resources are directed toward the classroom and that we protect classroom instructional time.  We cannot educate unless they have time in the classroom and so I do not want anymore furlough days."

One thing all candidates agreed on -- the strength of the school system is in the people that support it.

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