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Murchison discusses campaign, school consolidation

Sabrina Murchison has filed seeking election to the Bladen County Board of Education District 1 seat.

When asked about her decision to run, Murchison said, “I want to be a voice for the residents of Bladen County that will rally for positive change within our community realizing that the children in our educational system are our future, I am here to make difference.”

She added that not everyone is happy with her announcement of her candidacy.

“The Bladen Improvement Association contacted me and has informed me they would not be supporting me. They informed me they would be supporting the other candidate due to it being ‘not my time to run’,” said Murchison. “I am looking for any organization or association willing to support me during this campaign.”

That hasn’t slowed Murchison in getting her campaign organized and getting her message out there. She sat down with Bladen Online and shared her thoughts and concerns regarding the school district and what she would like to see.

She said she does have some concerns about the future of the school system and spending.  Murchison said that the budget for the school system shows $850,000 budgeted for staff for the district office employees. Murchison says, however, the district office is over-budget $1,047,360.32 for district office staff. Murchison said the total salary for all district office staff is $1,897,360.32.

Murchison said she also has concerns about the school consolidation issue.  She said that she felt the board did not consider such things as an evaluation of the facility, student membership, and the cost of operation, transportation, diversity, alternative uses, and disposition of the surplus property.

Murchison said the most recent consolidation plans included the closing of both Clarkton School of Discovery and Booker T. Washington Primary School. She said her concern is that closing both schools in Clarkton, will negatively impact property values because there would be no school district in that area.

Murchison said she would like to see an updated school evaluation submitted to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

She said that in looking at the revenues and expenditures for Clarkton School of Discovery, the school has done well with a positive net change of $1,171.

Murchison said she also feels that is important to have a Board of Education member who actually lives and works in Bladen County.

“A lot of our members of the Board of Education work outside of Bladen County and make decisions for our schools. I work within Bladen County and have children in the county schools and the board’s decisions affect me as a parent and parents need a voice,” said Murchison.

Murchison said she thinks the board should look at and explore the numbers of students attending the elementary, middle and high schools. She added that is one question that NC DPI encourages school districts to periodically review.

“DPI informs us that smaller school sizes have certain advantages,” said Murchison.

She said the board also needs to create a plan with regards to the district’s mobile and modular units. Murchison said NC DPI recommends that mobile and modular units be used only temporarily and not permanently for classroom space.

“What are the future goals our school district has in mind?” said Murchison.

She has created her own plan for consolidation. Murchison recommends merging Plain View Primary with Tar Heel Middle School, merging Elizabethtown Primary School with Elizabethtown Middle School, merging Bladenboro Primary School with Bladenboro middle School, and merging Booker T. Washington School with Clarkton School of Discovery and leaving kindergarten through fourth grade at East Arcadia School.

To learn more about Murchison’s campaign, you can visit her Facebook page Campaign for Sabrina Murchison. She also has a Go Fund Me site Campaign for Sabrina Murchison.

To view Sabrina’s interview with BladenOnline click here.

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