Stokes County School Board hasn’t given up on the six elementary art teacher positions that were requested, but not funded in the budget for fiscal year 2017/18, and plan to go back to the county commissioners in a request for the enhancement positions.
In June, the board sat down with commissioners and explained the one-time request of six elementary art teachers would cost an estimated $320,000 which would include salaries and benefits.
“I do believe we need to go to the commissioners one more time and try to get the art teachers. I think that’s very, very important,” said Board Chair Becky Boles at a recent school board meeting.
Sonya Cox, who was unable to attend the meeting, relayed a message through Lanette Moore, Executive Director of Finance.
“She definitely felt like she would like the art positions be requested back to the county commissioners even if we didn’t ask for the full amount, at least a portion of it,” Moore said.
Rice told the school board he had recently spoken with Katherine Joyce with the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, regarding legislative changes and funding for the enhancement teachers.
“It’s her professional judgement that it will be a reimbursement model and we need to do anything possible to get it in this year. If it’s not there this year, we will probably not be reimbursed in the future,” he said.
Vice Chair Pat Messick also believes the request for funding is imperative because the county has been without art at the elementary level for the past 16 years.
“We’ve been told the state would look at all the counties that have it and they would be giving the money to the counties that have enhancement teachers in place. So, I feel like we need to ask the county commissioners again. We need to get some other people, which are like-minded, and give us support.”
She added, “If we lose out on this we will be one of the only counties, and we are right now, in the area that doesn’t have art. All the other counties surrounding us did not take art out 16 years ago. We need to provide an opportunity for our students because the charter schools are providing that and the private schools certainly are. Parents are looking for great opportunities for their children when they come to a school district, so I feel it’s very important.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.