School Board Chairman Brian Gorg Gives Answers
Brian Gorg was recently elected as a Fauquier’s school board for the second consecutive year. He agreed to give an interview on challenges he faced and goals he aimed to reach.
1. Why did he decide to go for another year?
Gorg says he wants to finish what he have started among which is the middle school modernization. He faced a lot of challenges because of low funding from the state.
The chairman believes meetings and signing papers are to some extent a waste of time and others should pay attention to high-need areas. It mostly concerns finance and building committees.
2. What is the role of the chairman for him?
To Gorg’s view, the chairman has various responsibilities. He wants to change school board meetings so that there would be more conversation, as well as develop the agenda with the superintendent’s and clerk’s support. He also remarks that new school board members have great ideas, which should be discussed and moved along.
3. What are the goals for this year?
Due to reduced budgeting, the main goal is to survive, says Gorg. The plans for this year won’t go as it was expected and thus have to be changed. There is a big shortage of bus drivers and nutrition workers. Evaluating the market, Gorg says they will do their best to find a solution.
Another thing to do is to make contact with the county in order to collaborate on every problem.
Last but not least, students academic progress should be paid more attention, especially in the elementary school.
4. What are the biggest challenges?
The most important is to keep good employees despite low funding, as well as to think how to find new ones, especially above-mentioned bus drivers and nutrition workers.
Another one concerns modernization of middle schools. There are some recommendation on that, which have to somehow correspond to reality. Moreover, funding issue remains critical.
5. What should the schoold board undertake about those challenges?
The realization should come that it is quite difficult to get everything they want as they do not have enough budget. Gorg thinks, raising funds will not do any good. They might gather some money, but it will not be enough to carry out all projects.
The chairman also warns about tax revenue that will eventually take place.
6. What skills are essential in this job?
Brian Gorg names organizational development and financial analysis.
7. What should be taken into account when deciding on Warrenton’s aging middle schools?
Gorg says the committee might not have some information that they do. Therefore, Gorg’s team should share it. He also mentions that the teachers’ and building administrators’ opinions are very significant.
There is a school within a school. Gorg suggests it would be much better if there were two separate schools. In case Auburn Middle School is expanded, there is a chance to get some value for the money spent.
One thing remains unknown. Will it be possible to apply part of the Warrenton Middle School and make a consolidate school there, which can save some money? That is what the chairman is going to ask the committee.
8. What should the school board consider due to low funding?
Health insurance takes about 87% of the budget. The rest 13% is expected to be used for some changes. The problem is that they do not have money to offer competitive wages, which can result in hiring fewer teachers and increasing class sizes.
One more question is whether they can offer some programs if they do not have money for that. Gorg says they should not fail more.
9. What has he learned for five years in office?
In fact, nothing new, Gorg says. Any decision that concerns education considerably influences each student. The chairman would like to carry out a big number of individualized programs, however they are a public institution. That is why it is very hard to give every student what they need.
10. Why does he keep doing this?
Brian Gorg believes public education can be effective as well. Open discussions about education are essential in further work. Gorg is sure he will be able to do that.