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Mr. Sullivan, the school situation is very different than your impression.
According to the state Report Card, 74% of ninth graders end up with a regular report card. According to ACTs confidential report to the school districts, only 19% of regular diplomas are ready to be trained for a job, or go on to higher learning. That means that 86% of 9th graders are untrainable when leaving high school, and that is totally unacceptable.
The approximately $8500/student cost in Knox County is lower than average in the US, however the US spending per student is second highest in the world. Academically our high schoolers slipped last year to 52nd in the world of 136 countries. In Knox County, the per student cost is higher than the any of the top 20 countries except one, whose cost of living, all of them are higher than ours.
I have no objection to more money for KCS, but their performance is inexcusable. I would want to see an ACT score goal that is higher than the last one, and an operating plan down to the individual school level with monthly goals that gives an indication of progress toward the ACT score goal. The 5 year strategic plan is worthless as an operating plan, and its goals are meaningless.
So I would encourage more money, but not without an ACT score goal for the district and a proper operating plan for the same year.
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