Lane Price, Democratic nominee for the Dougherty County School Board at-large seat, tell Dougherty County Kiwanis Club members Monday (Oct. 15, 2012) that the school system is broken and she wants to help fix it. She is being opposed by Lorenzo Heard, who is mounting a write-in campaign.
ALBANY, Ga. — After six months on the campaign trail, Dougherty County School Board at-large candidate Lane Price is ready for the finish line.
Price, the medical director at Willson Hospice House, is pitted against write-in candidate Lorenzo Heard in the Nov. 6 general election.
“It’s been a long six months, but I have met people all over the county who know our school system is broken and being held together with baling wire and duct tape,” Price said shortly after addressing the Dougherty County Kiwanis Club on Monday. “We desperately need change because what we are doing now is not working.”
After defeating incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in July’s Democratic primary, Price has been trying to learn as much as she can about the inner workings of the nearly 16,000-student school district.
“Fixing our school system is going to be a huge project,” Price said. “It will take a four-year commitment, maybe even eight years, to get things working again.”
If she wins next month, Price said the first thing she’ll do is delve into the budget issues plaguing the school system.
“The Dougherty County School System is a financial mess,” Price said “We have the state Department of Education now involved involved in every federal program we have and they are threatening to withhold millions of dollars in funding. Things have been mismanaged and mishandled.
“Money is vital to the operation of the system. We need to get our financial house in order.”
The candidate will also reach out to communicate with parents and teachers to seek answers to the 26-school system’s other problems.
“We need ‘chat sessions’ to open lines of communication with parents and teachers,” said Price. “I want people to know that the BOE’s time of politicking is over. We need to drop the egos and conflicts. We are in trouble and it’s not a time for grandstanding.
“Our teachers are a precious resource and we need to get them involved.”
Academically, Price said, her first priority will be to concentrate on third-grade reading scores. She recounted a conversation with a man who works for a company which builds prisons and jails.
“He told me that when figuring out how many cells to build, they look at third-grade reading scores and see how many children are reading below grade level,” Price said. “Because 15 years down the road those are the people who stand a very good chance of being in jail or prison.”
This is why she wants to get retired teachers and business people involved in helping to lift those third-grade reading scores.
“I think it is great that we have members of our community make mission trips overseas,” Price said. “But we also have plenty of mission work right here at home. We have to figure out what our real problems are and have a plan to fix them.”