NEW HANOVER COUNTY—Janice Cavenaugh is a current member of the New Hanover Board of Education and seeking re-election.
Cavenaugh has served more than five terms for 27 years. She is a registered Republican. Cavenaugh lives off Carolina Beach Road on Rivage Promenade and is a parent of two, with six grandchildren. During the primary this spring, Cavenaugh earned the fourth-most votes, securing the last spot on the ballot.
Below are Cavenaugh’s answers to Port City Daily’s questions.
Author’s note: Port City Daily checked in with Cavenaugh to confirm her answers, as provided this spring, still applied. Her answers remain the same.
What do you see as the highest priority issue New Hanover County Schools face?
We desperately need parents to be involved in their child’s school. The same-sex parent has the greatest impact in a child’s education and life as a whole. We must do everything we can to promote a parent’s involvement in their child’s education. Busing children long distances negatively affects students’ lives. When a low-income parent only has access to public transportation that parent is locked out of their child’s education because quite often public bus lines do not cover schools in the suburbs.
Do you find the operating budget to be appropriate? Would you like to see it increased, decreased or stay the same?
Your figures of the budget rising by 21 percent in 2017 is incorrect. I conferred with Mary Hazel Small, finance officer for the schools. She states that the total budget increase is one percent and the increase for county funding alone is three percent. I would like to see our funding increased to allow for repairs and renovation to our infrastructure and for increases in teacher salary allotments.
Author’s note: Port City Daily initially identified the “operating budget” in our candidate survey questions as the total budget. The question has been simplified in its published form.
Michael Earl Kelly has been charged with at least 14 counts of indecent liberties with a minor. He taught at Isaac Bear Early College since the school’s inception. If information becomes available that NHCS staff members were aware of any of Kelly’s abuses, how would you plan to hold those individuals accountable?
If any employee is ever aware of sexual abuses and does not report such abuses he/she should be fired and criminal charges should be sought.
Author’s note: Since Port City Daily’s questionnaire was shared with candidates, Michael Earl Kelly has been charged with an additional 27 charges related to sex crimes against children.
Do you feel that New Hanover County elementary schools have a fair and just socioeconomic study body composition? Its middle schools? Its high schools?
I do not support busing according to a family’s income. I strongly support neighborhood schools. All of our schools differ in socio-economic elements. The only way to change those balances is by busing – which I vigorously oppose.
Do you support the NHCS board’s decision to delay school redistricting? Why or why not?
I support delaying redistricting until we can redistrict all three sections of school (elementary, middle and high school) at the same time. Why should we disrupt families’ lives three years in a row.
What is your opinion of having a board comprised of multiple
individuals having served 15 or more years? What are the strengths or
weaknesses of having a majority veteran board?
Our Board consists of individuals who have served over 15 years each and individuals who have just recently joined the Board. With experience comes knowledge. That knowledge aids the Board in making informed, experienced decisions.
What strategy do you support in managing school overcrowding?
We should allow students to apply to schools to which they are not assigned. This allows us to address overcrowding while also allowing the students to have more opportunities in their education.
What are your thoughts on Charter schools?
I support public schools, charter schools, private schools and home schools. Determining a child’s education is one of the most important duties of a parent. Who am I to second guess a parent’s decision to send their child to a charter school, private school or home school.
RiverLights is apparently receiving a new elementary school. Do you believe this is a fair prioritization of resources?
RiverLights is bringing thousands of new homes to our area. This will bring thousands of students that need education. RiverLights is giving us the land on which we can build an elementary school. It is a very good use of our resources to build a school there.
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