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Letter to the Editor

School Board hopeful makes his case for candidacy

web posted April 14, 2010
Dear Editor:
I have been asked on a few occasions why I am running for the Edgefield County School Board District #2 Seat. I mentioned when I announced my candidacy that I wanted to put the students of Edgefield County first; let me elaborate.   As a school board member, I must serve on a board that must supervise the Superintendent of Education for our county.  As a school board member, I will also work with that board to see that the School District of Edgefield keeps itself fiscally sound.  I also must serve on a board that makes sure our schools are safe.

1.The most important job of a school board is to see that most qualified superintendant is put in charge of our public schools.  Most qualified doesn’t mean the best educated.  Most qualified means that the superintendent of our school system has the knowledge and experience that can best serve our students.  That superintendent must have a policy that all students can succeed and that all students can learn.  The school system must embrace that philosophy, or the school system is not serving the students of Edgefield County. 

2. I don’t know if the people of Edgefield County know this, but your taxes are going to go up, not because I want them to, but because they are going to have to. I am not calling for higher taxes, but as sure as the sun will rise, our taxes will go up to support county operations.  The biggest user of tax money in our county is our public school system.  

I believe the school board must make wise decisions on the use of our tax money.  We are blessed with schools in our county that are sound structurally.  The upgrades that took place in the nineties and the continued upkeep of our schools are paying off.  I don’t believe that we will have to build any new schools for quite a while, but we will have to upgrade Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center in the near future.  The center is over 30 years old, and its newest structures are the two greenhouses.     I also see the Career and Technology Center as an economic engine that can be used to recruit new industry to Edgefield County. 

The programs at the facility must be current, cutting edge, and best meet the needs of our students and our community.  As an economic engine, the career center will educate all students in the crafts and trades that will help them succeed in life and become productive citizens.  All students, including university bound students, should be using the career center to help with their career choices.  The CATE programs are not and should not be treated as a dumping ground for students who show no direction at all.  This action undermines the effectiveness of the CATE Programs and actually turns away students that can benefit the most from the programs.  Programs at The Career Center are a privilege to take.

3. How is the Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center an economic engine?  A major reason that BMW located in the upstate of South Carolina was not only because of the Eighty-five Corridor, but the strong education system at Tri-County, Piedmont, Spartanburg, and Greenville Technical Colleges and the strong career and technology programs in Spartanburg and Greenville County.  The education system in the upstate produces scholars and other educated students who are ready for the workforce.  Those qualities are what make an economic engine.  Students are ready for success.  With a strong career and technology program in our county, we could have that economic engine here.  Working to improve our schools and strengthening our tax base would benefit our entire community and county.

4. I like fundraisers, but I don’t believe they should be abused.  A fundraiser should have a set purpose.  Also, fundraisers should be used to support activities in school-related or extracurricular activities.  An Edgefield County School should never have a fundraiser to purchase paper for the copier.  An Edgefield County School should never have a fundraiser to buy technology for the classroom; those items should be built into the school budget.  Grants can and should be used to purchase technology for the classroom if we don’t have local funds to cover the cost. A fundraiser could be used to help sublimate the cost of field trips, sports, the arts outside of the normal classroom, etc.

5. I will work with the administration and my fellow board members to ensure that all Edgefield County Schools are as safe as possible, but I do not want a school to look like a prison or jail.  I want students and staff to feel safe. I want parents to feel secure about school safety.  Student achievement is affected by school safety.

Once again, I am running for Edgefield County School Board District #2. I can be reached at home before 8pm at 637.9552 or by e-mail at mikecrim4ecsb@yahoo.com.   I also have a Facebook page: Michael Crim for Edgefield County School Board.

Keeping Students First,

Michael Crim
Candidate for School Board in District 2

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