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Troy to host community forums on education

The City of Troy Education Committee will host two forums on October 7 and 8 to get community feedback on input on local schools and address challenges and opportunities.

Councilwoman Stephanie Baker, District 4, head of the education committee, told Troy Elementary PTO members Tuesday that she understands having accountability for education in the city without having authority.

“I’ve come to realize I’m not the only person that feels that way; we are all accountable for our education,” Baker said. “These forums are to have a community conversation about education; we’re not trying to get anybody in trouble or out of trouble. The neutral party moderating this, the Matthews Center for Civic Life, won’t be making any recommendations out of these forums. They are good at moderating hard-to-have conversations.”

Baker said the forums will provide an opportunity to bring all stakeholders in the schools system, which she said is everybody in the Troy community, together to talk about what can be done to continue improving education for students in the city.

“We all need to be there, whether we are parents of students, faculty or staff, or any residents of the city,” Baker said. “Our students become our neighbors, the people we work with; we’re a stronger community when stronger people come out of the school system.”

Jonathan Cellon of the Troy City Schools Board of Education and Lauren Cochran of Troy University will also be helping to facilitate the program to give insights from multiple perspectives during the forum.

The first forum will be held on Monday, October 7 at the Troy Recreation Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with childcare provided. The second forum will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8 at the Recreation Center.

Baker said the two forums are intended to provide different times for different constituents, so stakeholders do not necessarily need to come to both forums, although they are welcome to do so.

“We want this forum to be about what we can do as a community to be a part of our schools,” Baker said.