Candidate for Albemarle County School Board/ At Large, Ned L. Gallaway has released his education survey results. Over 500 community members responded to his telephone and web-based education survey. The education survey including results is attached. Highlights of the results include:
· 65% believe Albemarle schools are drastically or somewhat underfunded
· Over 60% of respondents believe arts education is “Very Important” to a comprehensive education
· 80% feel it is important to have a parent who currently has children in the county schools elected to school board
· 70% said school board has not done a good job of asking for input prior to making major county wide education decisions
· 51% give a B to the school division; 27% give a C to the school division
· 73% believe increased class sizes have negatively impacted the quality of instruction in Albemarle County
Gallaway’s education survey has revealed that over 65% of respondents believe Albemarle schools are drastically or somewhat underfunded. However, over 70% of online respondents do not believe the school division is using education resources efficiently and effectively. Close to the same percentage of people (70%) would support providing additional revenue to Albemarle schools if the school division successfully communicated education resources are used efficiently and effectively. “I believe these responses indicate the need of the school board to rebuild its public trust with the community. Community members understand the financial burden the schools face. However, they are very reluctant to support increasing revenues when they feel what has been allocated already has not been used in the most efficient and effective manner,” Gallaway stated. Gallaway went on to say, “The good news, something I have been saying during my campaign, is we can address these concerns. We can implement annual, comprehensive departmental audits to find efficiencies, save dollars, and prove educational effectiveness, and then aggressively communicate the results to regain our community’s trust and their willing support to help in times of budget shortfalls.”
Gallaway was very pleased to learn that over 60% of respondents agreed with him that the fine and performing arts are “Very Important” to a comprehensive education. “We need to nurture students’ creative and divergent thinking skills, their ability to problem solve, their ability to collaborate, innovate and invent – rigorous arts education provides this,” Gallaway said.
As one of two At Large candidates with children currently attending county schools, Gallaway was glad to find that community members (80%) feel it is important to have a parent who currently has children in the county schools elected to school board. Gallaway reacted, “I do believe it matters to people to have a parent who currently has children in the county system on the school board. Of the 7 school board members, only two currently have children in the schools.”
In reaction to the 70% who responded that the school board has not done a good job of asking for input prior to making major county wide education decisions, Gallaway said he has pledged to host a monthly community meeting at different venues around the county to hear from citizens before making major education decisions or votes. He said, “School board members need to be proactive in getting out there to hear and learn from our students, parents, teachers, and community members.” In addition to the monthly community meetings, Gallaway said he will likely continue with his own online surveys and telephone surveys to provide constituents with a direct means to keep him informed. “I like having a direct line to what people think and feel – the surveys have allowed this to occur across the county,” Gallaway mentioned.
View the survey results