Business Education Alliance conducting study of Troy school system
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018
City of Troy and Troy City School Board officials have brought in the Business Education Alliance of Alabama (BEA) to conduct an analysis of the school system and supporting community.
“Part of our infrastructure is education,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “Just as we look at water, electric, sewer and road infrastructure, we look at education … If we are going to continue to grow, we need to make sure our children are getting what they need and we want businesses to hire local people.”
So in April, Dr. Joe Morton and his team at the BEA were brought in to begin the study of the school system including performance and finances.
Reeves spoke at the meeting of the Troy Elementary School PTO Tuesday to announce a survey that will be open to all Troy residents for feedback on the system.
“Honest feedback is needed from the people,” Reeves said. “We need to know what you’re thinking. If I could encourage you to do anything it would be to be involved and take a part in this survey as we begin to drill down into making this school system the very best that it can be.”
The survey is now accessible at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce website or at surveymonkey.com/r/TCS-survey.
“The reason this is exciting to us and the reason we agreed to do this is because Troy is exciting,” Morton said. “A town this size with the university that it has – there are so many positives here. I know you’re grappling with some issues right now … We’re here to give some outside ears and eyes to this situation and look at all aspects of the schools in Troy. We’re here to make observations and recommendations for guidance about getting through the era you’re in now and getting to a better place. Economic growth begets a lot of things, including better schools.”
The survey will be offered until Oct. 9 online for residents to give their thoughts. The questions include simple demographic questions, such as whether the participant is a current student in the system, the parent of a student, an employee of the system or otherwise.
It also includes ranking the areas that most need improvement and that the system does best in key categories including curriculum and instruction, facilities, adequate funding and financial stability, technology supporting instruction, community partnerships, communications with parents and extracurricular activities.
It concludes with open-ended questions about the greatest challenges and opportunities for the system moving forward.
Morton said it is critical for the community to be involved in the process.
“If everyone that takes the survey doesn’t highlight any opportunities or anything to improve on, it won’t be much of a roadmap,” Morton said. “That’s why this is so important.”
The results will be displayed collectively, not individually, which Reeves said residents need to feel free to give completely honest feedback.
“We want to know the good and the bad,” Reeves said. “We want to fix whatever needs fixing. This is an honest opportunity for honest feedback. It’s about getting better.”
The study comes at a time where the Board of Education is facing a budget shortfall of $365,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. Mickey Daughtry, board CFO, said board officials have been working with city officials to find new possible revenues for the board with no success so far. The board discussed Monday the potential of a raise in the millage rate to cover the gap, but the process would have to go through the state legislature and the citizens of Troy to be approved.