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Candidates: Funds must be spent carefully

Editor’s Note: Today The DAILY LEADER continues a specialquestion-and-answer series with candidates in some importantupcoming county elections. Featured today is the race for LincolnCounty Superintendent of Education. Both candidates areparticipating.

During a slow economy and uncertainty about stateeducation funding levels, what would you do as superintendent toprovide the most cost-effective operation for county taxpayerswhile still providing the best possible educational opportunitiesfor students?

Terry Brister: As a first priority, thesuperintendent must budget funds generously provided by thetaxpayers in a conservative manner to ensure that the educationalneeds of students are addressed. All educational expenditures mustbe constantly reviewed and evaluated to ensure that all studentsreceive maximum benefits for every dollar invested in theireducation. Educational dollars must first go directly to theclassroom in order to bring about learning.

Secondly, the superintendent must ensure that educationalfacilities are maintained and improved in orderly and routinemanner to provide for maximum results.

Finally, those programs such as athletics and otherextracurricular activities are important and must be available fora well-rounded education of all our children.

Donald E. Case: It is my belief that we shouldtake the taxpayers’ money and spend it very carefully to maximizeresults for every dollar spent. Education is a big business and itis not cheap. But we do not want a cheap educational system; wewant one that offers our students a quality education that preparesthem for the future. We need to maintain adequate facilities, aswell as, obtain and retain good instructional and support staff. Weneed to continue to expand our curriculum both academically andextracurricular. In order to do this, we must constantly evaluateour programs and determine the benefits we are receiving from them.Programs that are not cost effective and productive should beeliminated, and those that are benefiting our students should beexpanded and improved.

In addition to the normal state, local and federal fundingsources, there are federal and state grants, along with privateorganization and business funds that are available to schools forworthwhile projects. In times such as we are experiencing, weshould make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and look forevery source of revenue to supplement our tax dollars.

Friday: Candidates discuss federally-mandatedprograms and their value to the schools.