Head First?

Apparently, our Fairfield County School District is about to dive head first into the shallow end. In other words, the School Board will surely bang its head on the bottom if it continues to hastily plunge into the home building business.

Initial Board reaction begs many questions. Why would we commence a bidding process before we know such a scheme would be right for Fairfield? I realize the latest Dept. of Education report cards pegs our teacher retention success below state average and below the average of districts like ours. However, will an expensive and irreversible venture into the housing business be the remedy to stabilize our teaching staff?

What studies have we reviewed to ensure the housing gambit is needed, wanted or even viable? What are all the obstacles to teacher retention? Reporting from the School Board meeting indicates we do not even have a live model to emulate.

Further, the following quote leads one to believe someone fears the answers to the abundance of obvious questions linked to this proposal: “Sometimes,” Green said, “a lot of people want to talk and evaluate. My concern about involving too many people . . . is that I just want to maintain our momentum as we move forward.” Circling the wagons is not a sound foundation to build houses upon.

Perhaps this most unusual proposal could work, but there is simply far too much at stake to rush into the uncharted waters of a school district housing authority. The S.C. Dept. of Education already gives us below average marks for our percent of resource allocation to the classroom. We cannot afford any deviations away from the classroom. Our students and our teachers deserve a thorough vetting before we proceed with any proposal which may permanently strain school resources and won’t truly resolve anything.

Randy Bright



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