BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Todd Coring is a Republican candidate for the District 3 seat on the Brunswick County Board of Education.
Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate running in local elections in the tri-county region. The paywall is dropped on profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of casting their ballots.
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Primary Election Day is May 17. Voters will choose which candidates from their registered party they want to move forward in the formal election. Those who are registered as unaffiliated can choose which party’s primary they want to vote in.
Coring’s stances on issues are discussed below. All answers are included in full and the candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. Responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity.
Port City Daily (PCD): What are the greatest issues schools are facing? How would you work to fix them?
TC: Employee retention and recruitment, infrastructure, and student achievement and proficiency are issues our schools are facing right now. Collaboration with school administrators, our county commissioners, and representatives in Raleigh are ways to address these issues. It’s important to keep an open line of communications with administrators in deciding the best path forward. As board members, networking with all stakeholders is crucial. Communications is KEY in everything we do.
PCD: How would you describe the current and past leadership’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic in schools? What is your stance on how the board should weigh public health into its decisions?
TC: Public health decisions should be made in conjunction with public health professionals. Collaboration with both local and state health boards, parents, teachers, and staff is important moving forward into the endemic phase.
PCD: What is your opinion on the district’s current salaries and staff morale? What changes would you advocate for, if any, and how so?
TC: I understand that teacher salaries are set at the state level; however, local boards control added monies, such as supplements and bonuses. As I continue to communicate with teachers across the county, I understand that teacher morale is low and many are leaving the profession at a rapid rate. If elected, I would advocate for higher pay. I would start the discussion here and carry it to Raleigh. As board members, we can have discussions with administrators to create incentives to retain our teachers. We want the very best for our kids, so we should want the very best for our school staff.
PCD: Are community members, parents and staff members adequately heard? How can the district improve?
TC: There are procedures in place to allow community members, parents, and staff to voice their concerns. It would be my priority to be responsive, approachable, and actively engaged.
PCD: What needs to be done to make schools safer?
TC: School safety should always be a priority. A strong relationship with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and area law enforcement is key to safer schools. Sheriff Ingram is doing a great job providing safety with School Resource Officers at every school. Deputies receive state of the art training to keep students safe. Not only is safety a primary priority, they also provide programs such as D.A.R.E., teaching kids the importance of good decisions, choosing friends wisely, and positive alternate activities.
PCD: How comfortable are you with the way the district uses local funds?
TC: I am comfortable with the way local funds are being spent at this time, but I’m also interested in looking for ways to invest in our schools and staff.
PCD: What do you think of Brunswick County Schools’ current facilities? Do we need to build new schools to manage population growth?
TC: Currently, our school buildings are meeting the needs for students and staff; however rapid countywide growth is beginning to pack classrooms and outgrow our current buildings. Collaboration between the school board and county commissioners is critical moving forward. County Commissioners can better gauge growth as they get numbers firsthand via county planning board and staff.
PCD: Is there an additional issue or issues you think need(s) to be addressed during your term, should you win?
TC: If elected, I want to focus on employee moral. As mentioned before, we want the very best for our kids so we should want the best for our school employees. Wages can be one way to address this; additionally, listening to and being responsive to their concerns is critical. I’m hearing and reading daily about the rate at which teachers are leaving, and that’s a huge concern to me.
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