Key Issues for me:

1. Social and Emotional well-being of our students. This cannot be emphasized enough. We have a crisis at the middle and high school level in this country, and Fayette is seeing it first hand. How much rigor is enough? Why are we pushing our kids to the brink of breakdown?

The emotional health of our students needs to be our top priority. An immediate by-product will be improved social and emotional well-being for our teachers.

2. Student Achievement
Our students are more than the sum of their standardized tests. Evaluating and measuring progress is important. However, standardized tests are completely out of control. Labeling children based on what score they realized is wrong and counter-productive.

We have gifted students with high ACT/SAT scores whom are star athletes not even making the wait list at University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. What do you say to the parent who’s child earned the Zell Millar Scholarship, took 8 APs/Dual Enrollment courses, and couldn’t make the wait list?

It is time to aggressively look at this, and to work with our legislative delegation to ensure equity.

3. Smart Fiscal Decisions
It’s easy to say…”Cut the Budget”. What is more challenging is where and how to do it. Approximately 90% of our systems budget is in our staff. As a county, we have to decide things like classroom size, number of schools, and which programs truly matter.

Do we want to reduce the millage rate several points? Are we willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do this?

While we all love our children and school system, we cannot do everything. The Board has a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers to deliver a strong school system while managing costs.

We are faced with rampant escalation in health care and retirement costs for our employees. This is a state level issue, but has a real effect on Fayette County.

I will continue to work to make the right financial decisions. We will not throw good money after bad.

This doesn’t mean we will do everything. However, we will do the right programs that fit our district and move us forward.

4. Building Effective Relationships with our Local Governments

This is a critical element of any school board’s success. You will likely have noticed that our current Board has worked well together, even when we disagree. A critical factor in the success of the Board of Education is positive working relationships with our colleagues in local government.

Getting Tyrone Elementary back open requires significant work with the Tyrone Council and Mayor.

The Peachtree City Council has played a big role in many of our recent decisions.

The City of Fayetteville and the Fayette Commission is also critical to our success.

When we worked to improve our school’s safety, our Board asked for assistance from the Police Chiefs and Sheriff Babb. They responded with overwhelming support immediately and we were able to create a plan to protect our children.

At the state level, we work with our State House and Senate representatives, along with United States Congressman Ferguson to help impact change.

Our Board has great relationships with some government entities, and we are have work to do with others.

I will push harder to narrow the divides where they exist.

5. Leadership

While this is listed last – this is extremely important. As you know, our current school board is interviewing candidates to become our next Superintendent .

We must select a strong leader with a vision for Fayette County Schools. At the same time, this leader needs to be fiscally responsible, an instructional leader for our staff, and focused on our students. He or she will step into what I consider the most important job in Fayette county.

Beyond the Superintendent, the Board of Education provides leadership and direction for our school system. After 3+ years of learning and growing, I can tell you that I am a more effective leader today than when I took office.

What we have always done is no longer always the right thing. Our children face a future that is unknown. We are preparing them for jobs that do not exist.

I was blessed to attend college at The Florida State University and pursue my M.B.A in Marketing and Finance at the University of Notre Dame. I have the skills as an entrepreneur and successful business owner to think outside of the box, to push our Board and leadership team to expand their thinking.

The At-Large Board of Education position represents all of Fayette County. I am asking for your support to remain as the At-Large candidate serving on the Board of Education. I pledge to continue to listen to everyone, regardless of viewpoint. Every citizen in Fayette county needs to be heard. I will remain that voice for the entire county.

If you are willing to support me as volunteer, that would mean so much. Even allowing me to place a sign in your yard and sharing this with your friends.

Thank you again for your trust.

Brian Anderson
District 5, At-Large
Board of Education, Fayette County