Public Education being promoted in community

Published 4:50 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

The three Bell County school superintendents hosted a luncheon Thursday to promote public education. ‘

Superintendents Waylon Allen, of Middlesboro Independent, Russell Thompson, of Pineville Independent, and Yvonne Gilliam, of Bell County met with community leaders to discuss ways to better inform residents about the successes brought about through public education.

Among those in attendance were state Rep. Adam Bowling; Albey Brock, Bell County Judge-Executive; Craig Brock, executive director, Bell–Whitley Community Action Agency; Sheila Durham, executive director, Bell County Chamber of Commerce; Rick Nelson, mayor of Middlesboro; and Greg Wilson, Elgin director of academic programs.

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Allen pointed out that everyone in the room was a product of the public education system. “We need to do a better job celebrating the success stories brought about by public education,” he said.

Gilliam expressed concerns about the recent political focus on charter schools. She is concerned that public education may be cut to fund the creation of charter schools. She also said she was displeased with the legislature’s action in eliminating state academic rankings of school districts.

“Our parents deserve to know if their tax dollars are being used effectively,” Gilliam said. “And our students loved the competition.”