Monday, March 25, 2013

My Letter to the Gaston County Commissioners

March 25, 2013

Gaston County Commissioners:

Superintendent Reeves McGlohon recently requested $11 million more from the Gaston County Commissioners.  Of the $11 million, $2.9 million has been requested for, in addition to adding 56 teacher assistants, increasing the local supplement for teachers, principals, and assistant principals.

I am sending you this note asking for your strong consideration of this local funding to increase the supplement for our staff.

I know a number of talented teaches and school leaders, currently working in neighboring counties, who would love to teach and lead in Gaston County Schools.  Unfortunately, the primary reason they opt not to leave their current school/district is due to the inability to take a sizable pay-cut, which undoubtedly is a result of our low supplement.

While all North Carolina educators are on the same pay-scale, there is an enormous variation of local supplements throughout the state.

According to the most recent Local Supplement published information on, approximately 50 LEA's have a higher average teacher supplement.  This is especially troublesome, as we are the ninth largest school district in the state and it can be assumed that we have more teachers than every other LEA in North Carolina, except for eight.  If we expect to meet the North Carolina State Goal of "Processes are in place for financial planning and budgeting that focus on resources and alignment with priorities to maximize student achievement" through our own GCS Goal 8: "Use all means necessary to provide needed funding to ensure learning for all students," we need to provide the necessary means to recruit and retain a high-caliber of teaching and school leadership talent.

Also, Gaston County Schools is the largest employer in Gaston County.  This request by Superintendent McGlohon to increase the supplement gives Gaston County a better opportunity to keep our talent within the county.

I appreciate the leadership through your time and efforts given to our County and understand the challenges faced with your decisions.  Please consider our Superintendent's request to increase the local supplement.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my note.

Yours in education,

Craig S. Smith  |  Assistant Principal  |  Ashbrook High School
Follow me on Twitter: @CSmithGoBlue

The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith     and do not represent the school or district in which he works.

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