The Union Recorder

October 23, 2013

Help be a part of Baldwin's educational vision

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A report released Monday by the Opportunity Nation coalition indicates that 15 percent of the nation’s young people, ages 16 to 24, are either unemployed or not enrolled in some type of educational system. The same study also suggests that these six million young Americans are less likely to command higher salaries and carry a higher likelihood of draining the resources in their communities. Recent jobs figures suggest much the dismal same.

The September jobs report, released on Tuesday, revealed unemployment for adults without a high school diploma at 10.3 percent. The same report indicates unemployment for adults with at least a bachelor’s degree was 3.7 percent last month.

Unfortunately too many Baldwin County young people contribute to these types of statistics by lacking a high school diploma and not possessing the necessary skills for employment. There are ways, however, that the community can contribute to developing resources and ideas to help curb these types of statistics. One approach is by providing input on educational concerns, and an event next month presents an opportunity.

The Baldwin County school system is in the midst of developing its strategic plan for the next five years, which will determine what areas the school system will focus on in its improvement efforts. One part of this process involves community engagement.

Members of the community are invited to provide their input into the future direction of Baldwin County Schools next month. The session will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Baldwin High School. All community stakeholders - parents, taxpayers, school system staff and students — are invited to take part.

Those unable to attend the Nov. 5 meeting will still have an opportunity to provide their input by completing an online survey. The survey will be posted to the Baldwin County Schools’ website after the meeting.

All of the input received during the community engagement session and from the online surveys will be given to the strategic planning team to assist in their deliberations on crafting a vision, mission, beliefs and strategic goal areas for the school district. This team is composed of up to 25 school staff and community members.

As education of any community goes, so too, does the community’s future. Be a part of Baldwin County’s outcome by providing the kind of feedback officials need to develop an effective plan for the community’s educational future. Make plans to weigh in and contribute to the direction for Baldwin County’s future.