Dr. Truitt’s First 100 Days
After swearing her Oath of Office at the start of this meeting, Dr. Kathleen Truitt started by reflecting on the somber occasion that is September 11th. She then presented her 100-day Entry Plan.
Dr. Truitt’s plan is broken into three phases:
- Listen: She will reach out to three stakeholder groups to determine the strengths and weaknesses of LCSS
- Internal stakeholders: BoE, school leadership, faculty, and staff
- Government leaders: elected officials, first responders, and Chamber of Commerce
- Community: families, faith leaders, civic organizations, etc.
- Learn: She will analyze student achievements, compare them to state and national metrics, identify gaps in LCSS performance, and form a plan to address those gaps
- Lead: This phase focuses on communicating and executing the plan developed in the Learn phase
An Increase in your Millage Rate
The school board approved a 2.029mil increase to your county taxes. If you are wondering what that means in terms of dollars, it works out to an additional $162/year for a $200,000 property.
I find that excessive, particularly when August provided a record-breaking SPLOST income of $548,333! Additionally, the 2024 budget includes an $8M increase in revenue over 2023’s. The school has already enjoyed a SPLOST total of $3.4M in 2023, and the year is not over. Yet, they deem to raise taxes…
Meeting minutes for the Millage Rate Increase hearings (all three of them) mention that Comptroller Gary Kelley shared his rationale for the increase. However, that information is not provided in the minutes, nor are the recordings of these hearings made available.
If you would like to review the 2024 budget, it is available for download here. I recommend starting with the last two pages (the summaries).
$237k Gone in a Cloud of…Vape?
The Lee County School System applied for a School Safety Grant and received $237,000. With the number of school shootings across the country and student fights here in Lee County over the past few years, one would think this money should be spent on additional School Resource Officers. This is particularly true, considering LCSS still has campuses without dedicated SROs.
Instead, the BoE decided to invest in Vape detectors. They intend to install vape detectors in student restrooms for grades 5 through 12.