USA Dot Com is a blog covering politics and government from a conservative Christian perspective. Verne Strickland is a 50-year veteran of investigative journalism. This blog offers a take-no-prisoners style with a modicum of biting satire. Verne and his wife of 55 years, Durrene, live in Wilmington, NC.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Tammy Covil, candidate for NH County Board of Education, on the issues
When running for public office, candidates are often asked to answer
regarding their position on issues that relate to the office
they seek. Many times
there are limits placed on the number of words or
character strokes that can be used
in response. Due to the weighty
nature of the issues at hand and the context needed
express a position, this can present a serious challenge. Therefore,
the interest of full disclosure, I thought you would like to read the
of my answers for the Star News Voter Guide.
Please share this information with your family and friends.
How do you feel about the salary increase teachers are getting this fall? Should it be more? Should it be permanent?
Good teachers are the backbone of our school system. As a parent whose
children attend New Hanover County public schools, I am fortunate to
some of our best and brightest educators because many of them have
my own children. They deserve our respect and to be paid a fair
for their service. Unfortunately, teachers and teaching assistants
the first to experience pay cuts and layoffs. In my view,
the classroom is
the LAST place cuts should be made. Therefore, I
believe that if we combine
and/or eliminate some of the redundant and
costly administrative positions at
the state level, we will then be able
to pay teachers more competitively and
put resources back into the
classroom where they will best serve the needs
of our students.
Two new charter schools could open in Wilmington by fall of
2013. What’s your take on charter schools and their public-funding
One of the greatest benefits of living in New Hanover County is the
availability of school choice. If a school fails to meet a child’s
needs, parents have access to options. For this reason, I am a
supporter of all schools of choice: charter schools,
year-round schools, and magnet schools. By
definition, a charter school is
a public school in that it is funded
with taxpayer dollars. I am not opposed
to this funding model because I
am confident in our public school system’s
ability to compete for
enrollment. As a member of the New Hanover County
Board of Education, I
will work to expand school choice options for families
because I firmly
believe the resulting competition will raise the quality of
Under new federal testing measures, different subgroups of
students have different testing targets in an effort to close the
achievement gap. How do you feel about this?
When referring to the achievement gap, we are specifically addressing
academic disparity between primarily low-income, minority students
white counterparts. Lowering academic standards based on race
socioeconomic status to give the appearance of increasing
is absurd. Not only does a policy such as this shortchange
the students it’s
purporting to help, it gives those in control of
funding an excuse to funnel
more taxpayer money toward these subgroups.
I don’t subscribe to the
“soft bigotry of low expectations” because I
believe ALL students are capable
of high achievement, regardless of race
or socioeconomic status. Adjusting
testing targets for students with
diagnosed learning disabilities, however,
What do you think about the state legislature’s new school
calendar law, which will go into effect for 2013-2014, requiring
students to attend a minimum of hours or days?
Local education agencies should have the ability to schedule the school
yearbased upon their unique circumstances, including geographical
and the needs of their respective communities. Some areas in
Carolina experience extreme weather conditions that may require
flexibility when rescheduling missed days: for example, the coastal
vulnerable to tropical storms and the mountainous regions that
significant snowfall in the winter. As long as the district
is fully completing
the required course curriculum, adherence to
arbitrarily set dates should
not be a priority.
What do you uniquely bring to the board of education?
All four of my children attend New Hanover County Schools. I have
countless hours tutoring, reading with students, volunteering in
and assisting teachers in the classroom. I have also
served for many years
in leadership positions on various
education-related boards, including PTAs
and School Improvement Teams.
Additionally, my husband and I are small
business owners. My business
experience, coupled with the fact that as a
parent I am a true
stakeholder of public education, qualifies me to serve as
a member of
the board of education. Having first-hand knowledge of the
facing teachers and students gives me a unique perspective that
invaluable in my service to families of New Hanover County.