Peed: Lower the dropout rate

Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Staff Writer

E.C. Peed, an incumbent Beaufort County Board of Education member seeking re-election, said that if she is returned to the school board, she hopes to focus on finding a solution to decrease the dropout rate among the county’s youth.
“They are the next generation of doctors, lawyers, politicians and many other prospective professions that will lead this nation,” Peed said. “However, if they continue to drop out of high school instead of graduating and moving forward to higher learning, the statistics for public assistance will increase in the future.
“We need to be proactive, which will be a domino effect because a better education means a better job opportunity and the possibility of not having to rely on the system as a means of supporting a family.”
Peed represents District 2 on the school board. Mary Gurley, who is challenging Peed for that seat on the school board, is running a write-in campaign.
Peed added that she would work with her fellow board members to find a way to increase test scores in the public school system, and that she would like to incorporate an ROTC program at Southside High School in an effort to provide students with more opportunities for their future.
As for any changes Peed would include in making to the school board, the candidate said she would take a look at the budget in order to make other changes wherever possible.
“However, I would make sure that the changes would be in the best interest of the children,” Peed said. “I believe that any change causing a child’s education to suffer is not a meaningful change. Having been on the Beaufort County school board for the past 16 years, I can honestly say that we are always examining the budget to explore new possibilities to make every situation better for the welfare of our children.
“And since I’ve been a board member, the relationship with the county commissioners has gotten a lot better. There is also more communication with the parents.”
As for the future of the Beaufort County Board of Education and the direction in which Peed envisions it going, she said, “In the future, I see the Beaufort County school board working toward improving the attendance rate as well as the number of enrollments in our public school system. I also envision the (Beaufort County school board) implementing more after-school programs and an after-hours helpline for students to call whenever they need assistants with homework. This helpline would serve as a tutor on an as-needed basis.”
Peed said she also would like to see it implemented as a free service to students because some families cannot afford the cost of a tutor.
“I would like to see teachers, college students and parents volunteer to man the helpline phones in an effort to minimize the expense of having this program available to our young people,” she said. “I strongly believe in the importance of a strong foundation in education. I also believe in face schools and that every child can learn. I embrace the mission the board (BCSB) will assist parents of Beaufort County.
“The children need as many skills to lead a productive life and become active members of society.”