City, schools still in discussion about BEA study

Published 9:31 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

Just before Christmas 2018, the Business Education Alliance of Alabama released a study of the Troy City Schools system  that described the system as being at a “critical point in its history.”

The City of Troy spent $30,000 to bring in the BEA to conduct the independent study and survey of the school system, looking for ways to bolster the local education system for the future.

So what are officials with the City of Troy and the Troy City School system doing now, over four months since the report’s release, with the results of the study and survey?

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Mayor Jason Reeves said he is still in the process of discussing the results with various people and groups with a stake in the school system.

“I am in the process of gathering subsequent information related to the study from the community and other sources and look forward to working with all stakeholders for the betterment of education and quality of life in our community,” Reeves said.

Caleb Dawson, president of the Troy Elementary School PTO, said Reeves has already met with the PTO board to discuss the study.

“The Troy Elementary School PTO has facilitated group discussion of the BEA study at its meetings and distributed digital and print copies of the study to its membership and social media contacts,” Dawson said. “At Mayor Reeves’ request, the PTO board met with the mayor in March to share ideas about how the community can prepare Troy City Schools for a future in which public education systems compete with each other for students at the same time that they compete with alternative education options like home schooling, online education and private schools. 

“PTO board members discussed school improvement opportunities like expanding Pre-K, increasing options for advanced students, investing in school security measures, greater sensitivity to the challenges facing students living in poverty, continuous improvement of professional development practices for teachers, more cooperation between Troy City Schools and Troy University, increased local funding for public education and a desire for school system and city leaders to articulate a clear vision for the future of public education in Troy.”

The study provides analysis of recent financial data from the school system – financial statements, revenue sources, expenditures, enrollment, operating reserve, etc. – while also providing potential solutions for the future. In addition to the financial analysis, the report also includes a facilities analysis, best instructional practices and a community survey on the school system.

The study highlights the need for the school system to find more sure financial footing, while the participants surveyed put an emphasis on more local funding of the system.

Reeves said when the study was released that the purpose was to identify areas that could be improved and to then create communication about those issues.

“The point of the study was to provide an outside, expert opinion that would start and process and a dialogue among all stakeholders in the community on working toward providing the best education possible for the children in our community.”

Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent of Troy City Schools, said communicating with¬ the city is an important part of ensuring that the school system offers the best education possible.

“¬At the end of the day, everybody wants the same thing: a top-quality educational system, just like we want a top-quality city and state,” Hicks said. “That’s how you grow a city and state, by making everything as best as possible. The best way to do that is constant communication. Each member of the council and the community are always welcome to offer input at any time. We will listen to them as they have listened to us. We appreciate what the city has done for us and it is a relationship that we hope will continue to grow.”

Editor’s note: See the full report online with this story at