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Bob's Education Priorities and Issues

Bob ran on a platform in 2014 to restore citizens' confidence in the Onslow County School System.

This is a quest that should never end. It is imperative that the citizens of Onslow County have confidence in the decisions the school board makes. The school board makes decisions regarding the education of our youth that will impact them for the rest of their lives. The school board makes financial decisions that affect the tax payers of Onslow County for years.

Bob vowed to create a transparent business climate within the school system.

Bob has fought to make sure the school board continues to make decisions based upon sound financial principles and conservative values. In 2017, the school board policy regarding the advance delivery of school board meeting materials to the public was revised. The public now has access to much of the same information that board members have, prior to the board meetings. The single most challenging task Bob has undertaken was to get detailed financial accounting for budgets and expenditures at the school or office site level. Although Bob could get financial reports that detailed overall budgets broken down by classifications, he has been unable to get detailed reports by school or office location.

What is being done to provide safe learning environments for students and staff?

Bob has consistently voted for projects that enhance the safety and security of our schools. Bob has also worked with the local delegation of State Legislators to ensure legislation is enacted that provides for a safe learning environment. Bob still has concerns about the use of mobile classrooms on school campuses because they are not as secure as self contained buildings.

Why does Onslow County Schools have so many portable classrooms on the campuses?

Onslow County Schools have consistently grown by about 300 students per year for the last several years. The growth of the student population can be attributed to the influx of families related to the military and due to the eonomic growth of the area. The school district has seen large growth in the elementary grades and this has resulted in the district placing mobile classrooms on the campuses.

What is the Onslow County School District doing to address the high rate of student growth?

In March 2014, the Onslow County Board of Education and Board of Commissioners voted for a new ten-year plan to build up to six new schools using alternative funding sources. In August 2017, a new Dixon Middle School was opened and a new Richlands Elementary School opened in August 2018. Bids were accepted for both school construction projects that came in under the government estimated costs. An architect has been selected and two parcels of land have been approved for purchase to build the next two elementary schools in the Stump Sound and Catherine Lake areas. These two new schools are expected to be open for school year 2021-2022. In addition, the Dixon Middle School project was constructed for $3 Million less than the bid price. A new Skills Center is also currently under construction that will include training and education in Automotive Repair; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning; and Culinary Services.

How is the Onslow County School District progressing on graduation rates and student proficiency?

The four year cohort graduation rates for students in Onslow County continues to exceed the North Carolina State averages, but we still have vast room for improvement. Student proficiency continues to be an issue and a source of constant debate. The North Carolina State Legislature and the State Board of Education have enacted legislation and policies that address the issue, but frequently have been at odds with each other. Everyone agrees that we need standards, but there is constant disagreement over what those standards should be.