Spears Comments on 2014 Sumner Elections

The Hendersonville Star News cited comments from Andy Spears, Director of local parent-led organization Strong Schools, in its story on the 2014 local elections.

From the article:

Spears believes overcrowding in schools, improved technology and facilities, as well as competitive teacher pay, will be among the issues at the forefront of this election season.

“(Voters) want a school board that says, ‘We want excellence: here’s a three- or five-year plan to get there,’ ” Spears said. Likewise, voters will be looking at County Commission candidates “open to having an honest discussion about what it takes to fund truly outstanding schools,” he said.

The school system this year has 77 classroom portables in use across the district where space is limited, according to Jeremy Johnson, spokesman for Sumner County Schools. And like other Tennessee school districts, Sumner County is required by the State Board of Education to adopt a new compensation plan for teachers before July 1.

New rules adopted by the state in 2013 give districts the latitude to create a differentiated pay plan tailored to meet local needs. Incoming school board members will play a key role in making sure Sumner’s new teacher pay structure is competitive with nearby districts.

“Really, when you have as many portables and as much overcrowding as we have, we’re really talking about having basic, good schools that aren’t overcrowded where teachers will stay,” Spears said.

For more from Andy, follow @TheAndySpears

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