10PLUS with Terrina Picarello (N&R)


The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:OoRE-bhmMFj3QM:http://www.createyourbestlife.org/images/Picture,terrina_2005_0031_AWBC.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The News & Record today had a 10-PLUS Q&A with local schools advocate and current GCS School Discipline Task Force co-chair Terrina Picarello (click here for the full text).

And she was pretty blunt in many of her answers, here’s an excerpt:

Q. Will the school climate task force succeed in helping Guilford County Schools improve student discipline?

A. The individuals serving on the task force are very strong. … I don’t want to tip our collective hat, but we will be making recommendations about strategies for teaching appropriate behavior versus just expecting students to already have it and punishing them when they don’t have it. We don’t punish kids when they can’t do algebra; we provide additional help, so why not provide additional help and teaching for students who have behavioral problems?

Good answer, okay. What else did she have to say?

Q. What projects are the PTA council working on this year?

A. We just announced an advocacy initiative that will involve parent advocates getting together with the county commissioners and the Board of Education member in each district and discussing the specific needs of the schools in that district.

… The ritual here is that the Board of Education submits a budget, the commissioners claim it is padded and full of fluff, and the budget is not fully funded. As citizens we can just let that play out year after year, or we can get involved, examine the budget, point out the fluff if it’s in there and support a tight, fiscally responsible budget. We would then lobby for it to be fully funded.

…or we can get more involved by calling for a change in the state funding formula so that we won’t keep having to go through this vicious cycle year after year.


 The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.greensborohistory.org/images/wfmy-news-2-logo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. UPDATE: 11/26/07, 8:34AM: Terrina also did a one-on-one with CBS-2 WFMY as part of their “School Solutions” segment. Click here for the story and transcript.

E.C. 🙂


2 Responses

  1. Terrina makes the following comment: “I am appalled, however, at the state of the school facilities here. As far as the community involvement, how in the world are you going to attract new businesses to this area when many of the schools are old, ratty buildings attached to trailers? That is not good enough, and the community needs to demand better school buildings. The county government should be embarrassed.”

    I agree that the state of school buildings is appalling, but it’s not the fault of the citizens and taxpayers in this county. The funds that this district has gotten have been wasted by this board and administration. And, they seem hung-up on the notion that a new high school has to cost $80+ million for 1,200 students. Now, that is appalling. That translates into a cost of about $70,000 per student. Other districts are building functional high schools for much, much less.

    Gwinnett County, Georgia, a fast-growing suburb of Atlanta, builds high schools for 2,000-3,000 students at a cost much less than $80 million. Gwinnett County recently passed a 1/2 cent tax increase to be devoted to school construction. This becomes a significant number and builds schools for the county without property tax increases. Do we need a paradigm for education in this county? Duh, yes.

    All we hear out of this school district is what they could accomplish with more money. Well, I say that they should show us that they can accomplish something positive with the money that they have now before they get a nickel more. New York spends twice as much per student as North Carolina, and the state of education is deplorable.

  2. Not another dime, Stormy. Not one more dime.

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