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Summit first step in partnership

By By RUTH HARRELL
CHEC Chairman
There can be no doubt in anyone's mind that schools are among the most valuable resource in any community. A progressive school system is critical to recruiting industry, competing in the job market and supplying the future employees needed in a prosperous community.
For many years Alabama has had difficulty in assuring that schools throughout the state are adequately funded to do the job that needs to be done. As a result, county school systems and local and county governing bodies had to be creative in developing funding mechanisms to support their educational systems. To that end, some county and local systems have been more successful than others in gaining adequate supplemental funding. The availability of funds obviously determines the level of activities that can be undertaken by the school systems.
In an effort to create a forum for addressing the needs of the schools in Escambia County, the Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County will sponsor an educational summit on Saturday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m. until noon, in the Flomaton High School auditorium. This summit is for anyone in the county having an interest in the schools.
It is hoped that the summit will be attended by teachers, parents, grandparents, school principals, PTO leaders, school board members, elected leaders at all levels, ministers, media representatives, taxpayers and everyone else in the county. Members of the coalition feel it is the responsibility of every citizen to develop a sense of ownership in the schools and to assist in the identification of a vision for what the schools might become given the needed resources.
The summit agenda has been designed to address various topics that will help educate participants as to the current educational environment. Additionally, we hope this effort will serve as the beginning of the development of a partnership between the citizens and the educational systems for continued future dialogue and activities.
Please make this event a priority for your day on Saturday, August 25. All teachers in the county system who attend will be given three hours of professional development credits. Your presence and your ideas are needed.
If you have questions please contact Ricky Elliott at 867-3421 or myself at 296-5101.