The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is hosting two opportunities on Tuesday, June 17 for people to learn about what is happening in local schools. First, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) will provide new research on the funding and performance of the Tuscaloosa City and County Schools. Then, the superintendents of both systems and the state superintendent of education will give presentations at the annual State of the Schools event.
The research presentation will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. It is free and open to the public. PARCA is an independent research organization that conducts research on issues important to Alabama's state and local governments and public schools. This will be the second year for PARCA to present findings on the two school systems in Tuscaloosa County.
Chamber of Commerce President Jim Page believes everyone should be interested in the condition of local public schools, whether or not they have a child in the schools.
"Public education in a community is the number one factor in economic development," Page said. "When we're trying to recruit new industry, new business to town, the quality of our education system is a major, major factor in those discussions."
Page also noted residential property values are influenced by local schools. "The better your schools are performing, the more demand there is to live in that area."
Page said teachers have a huge task to perform, and it's up to the entire community to support local education. "We have to do all we can do as a community to try to continue to improve the performance of our school system. And the reason this is important to the Chamber, as we say all the time, the business community is the number one consumer of our education product. This is our future work force."
Page said the research findings will be posted on the Chamber's Web site following the presentation.
The State of the Schools lunch will follow the research presentation. Reservations are required for the lunch.
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