Candidates were asked these questions:
The N.C. Court of Appeals' recent decision to strike down the county's adequate public facilities ordinance would cut off a significant source of revenue for school construction. What should the school system do to compensate?
"Keep working closely with the county commissioners. We must ... make sure we are getting the most from our educational dollars." Other options she mentioned: various types of bonds; the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund; pay-as-you-go projects.
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"We must work closely with the county commissioners to develop funding options including the possibility of school bonds and/or a sales tax initiative, which would have a sunset clause."
"Revenue is tight regardless of the law being struck down. When the private sector improves, funding will begin to grow again. The county commissioners (must act responsibly with) our resources. The school system (must) be smart about how it ... uses its assets."
"We rely on the federal, state and local government to fund our schools, as we have no means of raising money. Building schools is ... a joint venture with the county commissioners."
"I have always been a supporter of corporate partnerships with ... companies in Cabarrus County, to have an opportunity to name athletic facilities, gymnasiums, etc."
"It hasn't saved a great deal of money toward construction."
The board has dealt often with student reassignment recently. Should parents have a voice earlier in the process? If so, how?
Favors community forums and extended surveys that reach more parents. "I would like to see more input from the parents and community."
"If you don't allow people to have a voice, you make them angry. As a member of the school board ... you're supposed to be listening to what they say."
"I'm glad they have public hearings. They at least know you have a reason for what you're doing."
"Involving parents develops a trust between the board and the community, making them stakeholders in the plan."
"Parents should have a say. The board sees they have input, and our administrators take to heart what they ... say."
"Parents see redistricting plans within a week of the board seeing them."
President Barack Obama's education plan shifts the focus from standard benchmark testing to preparing students in other ways. How should the school system prepare students for their futures?
"We can't forget about the very basics, like balancing a checkbook. They need to know about this in the real world."
End-of-grade "testing ... has cheapened the educational system. ... I'd love to see the schools implement more professional trades."
"At the end of the day you have to test to check progress, but it should be part of a broader portfolio."
"I do like that we are preparing for college and the workforce and hope this will include funding for Vocational Education/CTE. (Make sure) our students are at grade level in reading and math at the elementary ages, however."
"CCS already does an excellent job in this area. (Each high school has) a number of AP classes. We have CTE classes, such as auto mechanics, masonry, and the most recent addition ... is a culinary arts class ... at Hickory Ridge High School. These particular classes ... all help to keep kids in school."
"Not every student needs to go to college, but every student needs to read well. We need to look at other ways to reach other children. I would like to see opportunities for programs in the building industry."