The current crisis, which the pandemic has accelerated, is not a new one. Guilford County is rich with resources in our teachers, staff, and community and all we have to do is tap in, but fear and "otherness" has prevailed here for so long that we find an abundance of potential helpers standing around the edge watching and commenting while our teachers and students are drowning right in front of them. The de-professionalism of teachers, the workload expected of our classified employees, and the noise of private industries wanting in on our education dollars must be addressed. Guilford County School board only has so much power, but what power we have to galvanize and unify our community we should absolutely be utilizing.
Research and common sense shows that malnourished children do not learn. While we have many groups working to address the hunger plaguing Guilford County, school meals are abundant but rarely have the right nutritional value for learning. State contracts around nutrition make this difficult to address, but I am ready to take our message to Raleigh. Our students cannot depend on Rice Krispy treats for breakfast. We live in an agricultural state and we should be able to use the food we grow here to feed our children.
While I do not believe in harkening back to the 1960's when my dad drove the local school bus as high school senior, I do have some creative ideas for our high schoolers to graduate with a highly valuable CDL. The yellow bus license also includes the ability to drive a charter bus and dump truck. In order to make a program like that work, we need jobs in the classified sector of education to pay well and offer benefits.