Calls For Wellness Audit Of Johnston County Schools Finances
Late-Monday, Kay Carroll of Four Oaks filed for a vacant seat on the Johnston County School Board. Carroll previously served on the Board of Education from 1992 to 2008.
“I have with me today 3 major reasons I have decided to run for the Johnston County Board of Education – my 3 grandchildren that live and attend public schools in this county,” Mr. Carroll said while at the Board of Elections Office in Smithfield. “Like every parent and grandparent, I want our children to have the best education possible- one that will equip them to compete for their place at college, community college, or the workplace, whichever may be their goal.”
“We have seen a steady decline in the performance of our schools over the past number of years that has shaken our confidence and trust in both the financial and educational fitness of our system. Allegations of incompetence, ethical and moral deficiencies, and corruption have been alleged against education leaders. I don’t question the ethical or moral character of any of our board members. However, budget and educational outcomes have certainly proven that we must bring about a change in direction,” Carroll said.
“I would call for a wellness audit of our finances and budgeting process that would provide us with answers and highlight areas that need correction. Results of this audit should be presented and discussed in public. Specific strategies can then be made to correct the deficiencies. The audit may or may not find any serious issues. The public and county commissioners, who fund the schools, need to know what happened and how the BOE and central administration will correct it. How else can the Board of Education begin the process of reclaiming the public trust and confidence,” Carroll said.
“Educationally we need to have a complete and thorough audit of our curriculum in this county. With this, the Board of Education can identify, with the use of data, what needs to happen. I understand that we went several years without an English curriculum. How can this be? I now know that an English curriculum was purchased and implemented for the current school year. The BOE and superintendent must plan vision and goal setting meetings, using the data from our schools. The principals, teachers and students deserve nothing less. Without specific goals and a clear plan of action, how does any organization improve? Teachers and principals need to know that the central administration and BOE will commit their full support and effort to help them achieve the goals we need to establish in order to improve. We have many terrific teachers in our classrooms. I have witnessed that myself as a proctor in our schools. All we need is to provide a vision of what we want our system to be, goals that specify what we need to accomplish, and a clear plan of action to get there. Leadership is the key,” Carroll added.
“Public trust and confidence are essential for the Board of Education to be effective. It is hard to earn and retain, but, oh so easy to lose. Public support is critical in school success. If we begin the journey I have outlined above, we can slowly rebuild that trust, confidence and support. Difficult and consequential decisions have to be made in the weeks and months ahead. Dr. Causby was recruited to come here because we were in trouble and needed a proven leader with a track record of success. He leaves June 30th, and we still need to recruit a strong superintendent with a proven track record of success to come in behind Dr. Causby, one who knows this county and our system. We don’t have time to waste. We need proven leadership that can come in and continue to provide leadership, structure and organization to our schools. We can’t afford time for a “learning curve”. We don’t have the luxury of hoping one will just show up,” Mr. Carroll stated.
“We can have a great school system in Johnston County; I know because we have experienced one in the past,” Carroll said.
In addition to his family, Mr. Carroll was joined at the Board of Elections Office for his official filing by former Johnston County School Board Chairman Fred Bartholomew of Princeton.