"My philosophy is that nay school is basically as good as its community demands."
If Lauderdale County Superintendent of Schools David Little is right, apparently Lauderdale County's demands are rather high. After all, on a scale from one to five, with one being the lowest, last school year alone all Lauderdale County schools rated at or above level three. In fact, two schools on one campus even earned a level five rating.
Not only that, but last school year Lauderdale County schools won at least two state championships in sports.
Although all is well now, Little says such was not the case a few months ago. He goes on to say that things are not necessarily promised to stay this way in the future.
"We can't continue to take hits like we did last year or it’s eventually going to catch up with us."
Hits in funding, that is.
This past spring 44 teachers from the district were laid off to make up for proposed cuts in state funding to the district. These proposed cuts would have left the district more than $1,000,000 short of what officials say it needed. However, the teachers were later brought back on staff after state lawmakers passed a measure which left the district instead about $500,000 short of what was needed.
Although the teachers are all back, Little says with a lack of funds some things will go undone or be delayed. This includes possible structural repairs for some of the district's oldest buildings.
"We need to replace air conditioners at Southeast Attendance Center, Clarkdale and Northeast Attendance Center," says Little.
With a lot of needs and lagging funds, Little says as in years past the key to success this year will be prioritizing.
"When it's all said and done, the most important thing is instruction, so no doubt about it, for the last few years we've put all of our eggs in that basket."
Something which he says the district will continue to do again.