By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
School system hosts Washington visitors
wash peeps
Members of the Aspen Education and Society program recently visited DeKalb County Schools. The program works with local, state and national education leaders to share and build knowledge about how school systems can improve.The group met with various groups/stakeholders to listen and learn together and to put aside the political and ideological posturing that too often characterize education debates.They highlight the best work from the field, synthesize the best research and provide a forum for its distribution to those who can use it.The Aspen Institute is in constant conversation with policy makers and practitioners, which helps foster a more productive dialogue for change.The Aspen group consists of many education legislative assistants from the following legilators: Jim Cooper, Phil Roe, Lamar Alexander, Marsha Blackburn, and Diane Black, along with several committee members representing the Majority Education Policy Advisor from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions staff.The meeting started with the group of 19 from Washington interviewing Mark Willoughby, director of schools and central office staff Michelle Burklow, Lisa Cripps, Gina Arnold, Dr. Danielle Collins, Lisa Bell, and Clay Farler.The day continued with a tour through DeKalb County High School led by Principal Kathy Hendrix. Interviews followed with four focus groups: teachers, principals, students, and community/parents.DeKalb County was the only rural school district stop on the 2012 Aspen TN tour.One of the subjects discussed was the disbursement of Race to the Top (RTTP) funding.One of the big concerns locally is whether rural systems are receiving equal treatment by the state concerning RTTP funding.According to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby the Dekalb County school system, which has 2844 students received $243 per student from RTTT funds.DeKalb’s urban counterpart, the Metro Nashville system, received $414.58 per student from RTTT funds.“We should have received $171.58 more per student, and if we were receiving equal treatment we should have received $487,973.52 additional money,” Willoughby said.Willoughby went on to say that the State average per student is $9084, while the Metro Nashville average is $11,080 per student.DeKalb County receives $7666 per student.“Our students are funded $1418 less per student than the state average,” Willoughby added.