Every School needs a Principal
We citizens of Albemarle County urge the School Board and Board of Supervisors to work together to fund full-time principals at all county schools, this year and in the future. The schools of Red Hill, Yancey, and Scottsville serve one of the greatest at-risk populations in the county - half of their children qualify for free and reduced lunch. The importance of these schools to the southern Albemarle community and the overwhelming public support to maintain them, even at additional cost, was abundantly clear last fall -- over 1300 citizens signed a petition of support, every single speaker at the School Board's hearing was strongly in favor, and at least one current Supervisor campaigned on the promise of keeping those schools strong. Half-time principals, especially in southern Albemarle, are likely to result in greater long-term cost than the modest short-term savings. Reduced leadership and ability to respond to crisis situations is likely to cause decreased scholarship and greater behavior problems. For the southern Albemarle community, that means increasing the achievement gap and weakening our County. Although half-time principals will affect the neediest students the most, all schools need full time principals to support children, families and staff. A full-time principal committed to each school is essential to navigating the serious budget cuts that are being implemented.