ALBANY -- Dougherty County School Board at-large candidate Lane Price doesn't mince words when it comes to talking about the school system.
"We have no shortage of problems in our schools today," Price said. "We have fiscal shortfalls, unacceptable dropout rates, parents who aren't involved in their child's education and many kids whose lives are more about surviving than thriving."
She then took a swing at Dougherty County School Board Chair James Bush.
To read more about lane Price's opponent, Anita Williams-Brown, click here
"Today (Thursday), the chairman of the School Board, James Bush, publicly endorsed the incumbent, which tells me that Mr. Bush is satisfied with the current status of the School Board -- that he is satisfied with the 'same old, same old.'" said Price. "Well, I am not. I know our situation is complicated and our problems are significant. I want to bring a fresh perspective, an innovative approach, and wisdom born of a lifetime of experience, to the Dougherty County School Board."
Post Sought: Dougherty County School Board at-large seat
Occupation: Medical director, Willson Hospice House
Family: Husband, Julian. Children, Julian III, 47; Kimberly, 43; Lane, 29; Evan 28
Key Issues: DCSS budget and finances; system
accountability; increasing parental involvement
Price asserts that the school system is not handling the multiple crises facing the DCSS, in addition to managing a budget.
"We must stop responding to arising problems with kneejerk reactions and must end the constant crisis management," said Price. "We also need a plan for our budget instead of responding in crisis mode. Furlough days are not a solution, they are a reaction. We should expect that our future budgets are not going to increase anytime soon.
"Although we need to prepare a balanced budget, we may perhaps have tiered budget levels to allow us flexibility during the planning process. A line-itemed budget is the most precise way to view possible waste of funds and to safeguard from future discrepancies."
The political newcomer then zeroed in on the system's low graduation rate.
"It is shocking that we have a graduation rate of 56 percent and, sadly, about 500 students drop out of school each year," said Price. "We need to focus on our children's reading and math skills to make sure that they are keeping up with their grade level. We need parents to get involved in the schools and to make sure that their children are completing and understanding their schoolwork. I-Care, although a good tool, does not equate to parental involvement."
The bottom line, Price said, is that change is needed on the Board of Education.
"The atmosphere needs to change -- we need knowledge, planning, and accountability," said Price. "I know that Dougherty County Schools can be an environment of excellence."