To the Editor,
As a parent of a student of the Public Schools of Robeson County, I would like to address Superintendent Johnny Hunt’s performance. Last year during the budget crisis, Dr. Hunt and the Board of Education’s solution was to reduce the number of teacher assistants although Raleigh insisted there was enough money to retain all the teacher assistants. Not once did Dr. Hunt offer to cut administrative positions. There are mentoring teachers who could have gone back to the classroom, where we have “permanent substitutes” in positions. If these mentoring teachers are so great, then we need them in the classroom so our children can become academically competitive. There are also jobs at the central office with overlapping duties that could be combined or jobs that are full-time, but realistically part-time positions. The central office also has five assistant superintendents and no suggestion was made to reduce that number by even one.
We have teachers, guidance counselors, etc. who are certified but haven’t been hired while there are existing vacant positions. Students attending school aren’t allowed to take home textbooks because they are for the classroom only or there aren’t enough books for all the students. Online access for textbooks is not available. Teachers are spending entirely too much time disciplining and not enough time teaching because of a lack of support from the principals who in turn receive no support from the central office. These are just a few of the problems that continue to exist in the school system.
The Board of Education’s priority should be to have the children of this county’s best interests and not rewarding a superintendent with a $10,000 bonus five months after he received a pay increase. If as Mr. Mike Smith said, Dr. Hunt is “like the CEO of a large corporation,” then the Board of Education is the board of directors and should be holding him responsible for his failures in leadership. After all, the important thing is to ensure our children get the best education our money can buy, not ensuring the board or the superintendent maintain their personal political agenda. Mr. Smith, as the parents, voters and taxpayers are the stockholders in your CEO analogy, be aware there are some of us who are not pleased with your stance or the Board of Education’s lack of concern for our children.