District 7 County Commission candidate Perry Perkins said public education is the cornerstone of his vision for a safe and prosperous county.
A current fundraiser and board member of the Shriners Hospital in Lexington, Ky., Mr. Perkins proposed three ways that the County Commission can support new initiates by the Hamilton County Department of Education:
He said, "The School Board governs education in Hamilton County, but there are many ways the County Commission can help.
Some of these ways include:
Ensuring that the DOE is fully funded by the state of Tennessee Basic Education Program through lobbying efforts in Nashville.
Facilitating work with Chattanooga's Public Education Fund to understand success and retention information across the county.
Supporting higher standards for instruction.
Bringing government and businesses together to form more private/public partnerships for education funding at each school."
Ensure that technology is available learning for every student
Mr. Perkins said that teachers should get the technology training and professional development they need to provide an excellent education. “I support Superintendent Smith's efforts to create a technology in learning department complete with facilitator positions for each school.”
Other efforts to better technology in education he proposes include:
Grow technology in learning programs and practices such as those currently offered at the County's STEM School.
Support soft skills education.
Focus on teaching digital citizenship.
He said there should be more dialogue and more autonomy. “The goal is for the commission to reach out to and support school board members and the board as a whole.”
Mr. Perkins suggested that the commissioner and the school board member for the district meet twice per year with all district school representatives. The school board member would also be Involved in discretionary fund choices.
He said, "If you want to prevent crime, we must build good citizens through public education and community support. If you want to increase the economic health of the county, build good citizens."