School board member Allen Simpson is running for re-election to the Troup County Board of Education District 1 seat.
Simpson, who held the position for about a year before stepping down after discovering that his home was actually outside the district, was recently re-appointed to the board after district lines were re-drawn, putting him into District 1. The current special election for the District 1 seat will fill the remaining two years of the term.
Simpson, owner of Good Seed Christian Book Store, said he wants to continue to be on the school board because of a concern for the children of the community. He began as a mentor in the school system through the LEAP program several years ago and said his experience in manufacturing and business management has given him a good insight on how to responsibly handle money and resources.
Simpson said the budget for the school system is an issue with the system trying to find ways to cover shortfalls from the state. He said there will be tough decisions that the school board has to make. The charter schools amendment on the ballot, which could setup a separate group to decide whether charter schools may be created in areas without the input of local boards is an immediate issue, Simpson said.
He said the economic climate means that trouble with the budget will not be going away any time soon and the board will have to make cuts. He said the board can do a better job of letting people know what is happening in the school system, including the complexity of the issues they face and decisions they make.
Simpson believes the school system has a good task force in place to help determine how to handle the budget. He said a mixture of people give input on that task force.
Test scores can be improved. He said the board can help give teachers the tools they need to teach and administrators the ability to do their jobs, but the board also needs to give input and make sure they are performing as they should.
He said community involvement in schools is very important. Having churches, businesses and especially parents involved is the best way to continually encourage students.
Simpson said he is not a politician and that he feels his main qualification for the school board position is that he is concerned about Troup’s children and he cares “enough to risk my reputation” by running for public office.
He said he has served with integrity and will continue to do so. Simpson said he is committed to honesty on the school board.